Survivor waded into #MeToo waters when Kellee Kim expressed concerns over Dan Spilo's personal boundary-crossing touching, and now changes are being made according to longtime host Jeff Probst.
"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," Probst told EW.
After producers broke the fourth wall in the Wednesday, Nov. 13 and discussed Kellee's feelings with her on camera, the show said it spoke to Dan and the group as a whole about the situation. "If there are issues to the point where things need to happen, come to me and I will make sure that stops," Kellee was told by a producer. "Because I don't want anyone feeling uncomfortable…It's not OK."
Kellee was eliminated in that episode.
"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," Probst said.
The whole situation was further complicated when Missy Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel concocted further allegations against Dan in an effort to get Janet Carbin to vote against him. They've since apologized.
In an interview with EW, Kellee said she did not know Dan had been warned by production until she watched the episode.
"One of the things that truly makes Survivor special is that the producers let the players play. We say what we want to say, and we are left as much as possible to our own devices; this is what has kept the integrity of the game. However, on the flip side, it has created a relationship where players can't ask for help and producers can't step in," she said. "I did not know about Dan getting a personal warning until I watched the episode. If production was going to give Dan an official warning, they should have just pulled him from the game or at least informed me so that I was aware of how it might impact the game."
After the November 13 episode, CBS and producers MGM released a statement about the events that unfolded.
"In the episode broadcast last night, several female castaways discussed the behavior of a male castaway that made them uncomfortable. During the filming of this episode, producers spoke off-camera to all the contestants still in the game, both as a group and individually, to hear any concerns and advise about appropriate boundaries. A formal warning was also given to the male castaway in question. On Survivor, producers provide the castaways a wide berth to play the game. At the same time, all castaways are monitored and supervised at all times. They have full access to producers and doctors, and the production will intervene in situations where warranted," CBS and MGM said.
Survivor airs Wednesdays, 8 p.m. on CBS.