‘Survivor’ ejects contestant embroiled in #MeToo controversy for off-camera ‘incident’
“Survivor” has officially removed contestant Dan Spilo from the show, four weeks after airing a controversial episode in which multiple women reported that he touched them inappropriately.
Spilo, a Hollywood talent manager, is the first “Survivor” castaway to ever be ejected from the game for problematic behavior. Longtime host and executive producer Jeff Probst informed the remaining players at the end of Wednesday’s episode that Spilo would not return to the island.
“I just spoke privately with Dan and I want to update you guys,” he said. “A decision has been made and Dan will not be returning to the game. He won’t be coming back to camp. He won’t be on the jury. He’s gone.”
A title card followed shortly thereafter, providing additional context on the situation.
“Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player,” the message read.
Last month, “Survivor” sparked controversy when fan-favorite contestant Kellee Kim and other female castaways voiced concerns that Spilo had repeatedly initiated non-consensual physical contact with them, corroborated by video footage. Kim, the most vocal of Spilo’s accusers, first flagged Spilo’s behavior and confronted him about boundaries in the season premiere.
A day after a “Survivor” episode marked by allegations of unwanted touching against a contestant, longtime host Jeff Probst elaborated on his views on how the situation was handled.
After Wednesday’s episode, Kim posted a lengthy statement on social media reflecting on Spilo’s exit, thanking her supporters and calling out CBS for how it handled the situation.
“CBS and ‘Survivor’ were on notice of Dan’s behavior from the very first days of the game,” she wrote. “And, as ‘Survivor’ fans know, shortly after I spoke up on camera, I was voted off the show. Since then, I’ve accepted genuine, heartfelt apologies from fellow castaways, but I’ve continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern of behavior was allowed to occur for so long.”
During the episode last month in which reports of Spilo’s misconduct stirred controversy, Spilo apologized when Probst confronted him during Tribal Council, where players are voted off each week.
“If anyone ever felt, for a second, uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that, and I’m terribly sorry,” he said. “If someone feels it, it’s their truth.”
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