NYC Politicians Slam 'Survivor'

Survivor (tv program)EntertainmentTelevisionMinority GroupsNew York City CouncilHarry Smith

The political backlash against the sorting of players on "Survivor" by race has begun.

Members of the New York City Council's Black, Latino and Asian Caucus are calling on CBS, which airs the unscripted series, to dump "Survivor: Cook Islands," which is scheduled to premiere Thursday, Sept. 14. The show's 20 contestants will be divided by ethnicity -- African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian-American -- at the start of the game.

"We are going to call on CBS to pull the plug on this," Robert Jackson, co-chair of the caucus, tells the New York Post. "Is this going to help to bring people together? I don't think so."

John Liu, another caucus member, calls the plan "plain stupid."

CBS announced its plans for the newest "Survivor" on Wednesday, and the reaction to the segregation has been largely negative -- even within the network. Harry Smith, who helped unveil the players on "The Early Show" that morning, told "Survivor" host Jeff Probst he was "dismayed" at the idea.

The network, however, doesn't seem likely to pull "Survivor" from the airwaves.

"CBS fully recognizes the controversial nature of this format but has full confidence in the producers and their ability to produce the program in a responsible manner," the network says in a statement. "'Survivor' is a program that is no stranger to controversy and has always answered its critics on the screen."

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