Spoilers ahead from Survivor: Island of the Idols' November 13, 2019 episode on CBS.
Kellee Kim had to sit silent through the aftermath of Survivor: Island of the Idols' most infuriating episode. But she spoke out on social media after "We Made It to the Merge!" aired, expressing her feelings about the two-hour episode. She asked fans not to threaten or shame her co-stars like Dan, Elizabeth, Missy, and Aaron, and many of those co-stars apologized publicly.
Survivor host/producer Jeff Probst already revealed how the show handled things behind-the-scenes when it comes to the allegations against Dan Spilo. This wasn't even the first week his inappropriate touching had come up. It had been mentioned before, and mentioned to him before, and yet he never quite seemed to see the problem. It wasn't a major issue for all of the women -- some had no issues with Dan, some just wanted to casually mention his behavior in a lighthearted way but not really do anything about it -- but it was a serious problem for Kellee.
It really did bother Kellee and she thought it bothered the other women too. But Missy and Elizabeth decided to basically use #MeToo as a Survivor strategy, with Elizabeth playing up how much Dan's touching bothered her to fool Kellee into thinking they would vote out Dan, when Kellee was the target.
Janet got involved because she believed Elizabeth and Missy, as well as Kellee, and agreed to vote out Dan in solidarity with the girls because she felt it was important to stand up for the younger women. She and Kellee (and Jamal and Karishma and Noura) were blindsided when Kellee ended up being voted out instead.
Janet talked to Dan about it after Kellee was voted out, and Dan confronted Missy and Elizabeth about their true feelings. Did they really tell Janet they were glad she was back with them on the same island to basically handle Dan? Did they say they wanted Dan to go? Missy and Elizabeth made a big show of saying Janet was lying about the situation, leaving self-righteous Dan disgusted with his former ally Janet.
There was an uproar on Twitter, with disgusted Survivor fans blasting Elizabeth and Missy for setting women back 50 years. This is why women have trouble being believed in the #MeToo movement, because the small number of women who falsify allegations for personal gain make it infinitely harder for the large number of women who are genuinely telling the truth.
Elizabeth Beisel spoke out on social media to say she was "deeply ashamed" by her actions and apologized. She said she didn't have all of the information at the time, and she apologized to Kellee for using her accusations against Dan as gameplay:
Missy Byrd also apologized to Kellee, Janet, and all women, saying "sexual assault is never to be taken lightly":
Janet was ganged up on during the tribal council after Kellee left, having lost most of her allies after the blindside. Jamal Shipman -- who had a great heart-to-heart moment on race with Jack Nichting in a previous episode -- stood up for listening and believing women, and was voted out. Meanwhile, Aaron Meredith defended Dan, said Janet was playing the victim, and added that he felt like he would've known if there was really a problem with Dan.
Kellee accepted Aaron's later apology for his behavior and actions during Tribal Council:
Lauren Ashley was part of the group that talked about Dan's behavior, and then blindsided Kellee to vote her out instead. Lauren explained her actions and said she wished she had acted differently:
Kellee has yet to say anything about the other social media apologies (Dan doesn't seem to be active on social media).
So now Kellee, Jamal, and Jack are together in the jury, facing a group of people they probably have very little respect for, apart from Janet. (And Noura and Karishma? Not sure.) The November 20 episode is "Two for the Price of One" with a double elimination. The promo makes it look like Tommy vs. Missy, so we'll have to see how that turns out.
Survivor Season 39 airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS as the Fall TV season starts to head into midseason finale territory.
Gina grew up in Massachusetts and California in her own version of The Parent Trap. She went to three different middle schools, four high schools, and three universities -- including half a year in Perth, Western Australia. She currently lives in a small town in Maine, the kind Stephen King regularly sets terrible things in, so this may be the last you hear from her.
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