It took 39 seasons, but Survivor accomplished a first on Wednesday night.
Although it wasn’t a feat producers want to see happen again.
At the conclusion of the latest episode of this long-running reality series, host Jeff Probst entered camp to deliver shocking news to the remaining castaways:
Dan Spilo had been removed from the game and would not be joining the jury.
“I just spoke privately with Dan, and i want to update you guys. 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,” Probst said on air.
Nothing more was divulged to the players at the time.
However, the episode then went black and showed a title card that read as follows:
“Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
It almost seems hard to believe that it took this long, but like we said above:
This marked the first time in Survivor history that producers gave a contestant the boot due to something that happened off-camera.
Starting on this season’s premiere, though, contestant Kellee Kim complained to Dan, saying that his touching made her uncomfortable.
Production stepped in on day 22 and CBS issued a warning to him about his behavior. Yet he remained in the game.
Tribemates Missy Byrd and Elizabeth Beisel then made up their own complaints (for real) to manipulate other players to vote out Dan…
… and it became a huge mess, prompting viewers and players alike to ask questions about how far this game should go.
So, what finally led now to Dan getting the boot?
Accoording to People Magazine sources, Spilo and other contestants were getting into a boat to transport them back to the camp following a recent immunity challenge.
At one point, Spilo allegedly touched the female crew member’s leg.
These insiders say he insisted that the contact was accidental, but history was not on Dan’s side — and, after consulting with network attorneys, producers chose to let Dan go.
“When we first told Dan we were pulling him from the game, he was not happy,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly in an interview, adding of Dan’s reaction:
“We talked through everything for quite a while, and by the time he got on the boat to leave he had calmed down and was actually very respectful as he departed.”
Survivor airs on CBS Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.
No one else from the network has commented at this time about what transpired.
But this is what Spilo, a Hollywod agent, said after that season premiere controversy:
“I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed – thank God – to blossom and become powerful and strong.
“My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry.”
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