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This season of Survivor has had a couple of controversies, and the one that has angered fans, players and former players the most is what went down between Kellee Kim and Dan Spilo. From the first episode of the season, Kellee had to tell Dan not to be so touchy with her, but they were put into different tribes for a time, and didn't have to interact, until the Merge, that is. And, Dan resumed his behavior, even though he knew it bothered her.
Eventually, Kellee began to speak to other female players, and while some had experienced the same thing, some took it as an opportunity to take Kellee's concerns and use them for game play, muddling what was already becoming an increasingly tense situation. This move led to Kellee getting voted out, and while the show dealt with Dan's inappropriate behavior on camera and behind the scenes, he's still in the competition.
Audiences who have watched all of this happen over the past several weeks are wondering if the show could have handled the situation better and also want to know what steps are going to be taken to make sure that such a thing is never allowed to go on in the future. And, according to Survivor host Jeff Probst, the show is carefully considering next steps for the future where this type of behavior is concerned.
It’s an unprecedented and unfortunate situation that is still very raw for a lot of the players and fans. We are all trying to learn from it. We will definitely be using the lessons learned from the Dan situation as a guide in how to handle similar situations in future seasons. We have already started discussing ideas for how to change things in the future.
Jeff Probst didn't elaborate on what, exactly, the producers of Survivor plan to do if another inappropriate contact behavior comes up when he spoke with Entertainment Weekly, but it's possible that's just because they haven't actually settled on a plan for handling things like this in future seasons yet. Though it should be noted that these events were filmed seven months ago, so it's not like they haven't had time to consider the implications and best practices for this "unprecedented" situation until now. I'm hoping that, for some reason, they simply don't want to go into those details right now.
But, if they did it would likely soothe the fears of many fans that the producers didn't do enough to protect Kellee and the other female players this season. Survivor is known for filming the action and staying out of the game play as much as humanly possible; only stepping in when physical danger is clearly afoot. Many fans are angered that, after Dan had been shown to get multiple warnings from women about his behavior, but continued to do it anyway, he wasn't removed from the production altogether.
The production did issue a statement which noted that they had been monitoring Dan, in particular, once Kellee made it clear to producers how bothered she was by his inappropriate touching, but also pointed out that they prefer to stay back and "provide the castaways a wide berth to play the game." But, it sounds like they are now at least reconsidering the parameters of that "wide berth" for the future.
Survivor airs Wednesdays on CBS at 8 p.m. EST, but be sure to see what else you can catch on TV this fall.