Survivor host Jeff Probst says things are going to change on the long-running CBS reality series following the show's controversial handling of one contestant's sexual harassment allegations against a castmate. After Wednesday's episode, Probst said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly that the show is working on instituting reforms for future seasons.
Survivor came under fire from audiences last week for its handling of contestant Kellee Kim's complaints about the behavior of castmate Dan Spilo, whom she accused of inappropriate touching. Although producers responded by taking the unprecedented step of intervening in gameplay and issuing a warning to Spilo, Kim was later eliminated from the competition after fellow contestants turned against her to secure their positions, while Spilo remained in the game.
"It's an unprecedented and unfortunate situation that is still raw for a lot of players and fans. We are all trying to learn from it," Probst told Entertainment Weekly. He added that the show "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 did not say exactly what changes will be implemented.
Probst previously detailed how he and the producers handled the allegations at the time of the show's taping, telling EW, "When we met privately with Dan, we told him that his actions were making some of the women uncomfortable and reminded him that personal boundaries must be respected at all times. We also informed him this was an official warning."
The Survivor host also said he was "incredibly proud of Kellee for being willing to speak up."
Kim previously told Parade following the airing of the episode, "More than ever, it is important to be aware and respect other people's personal boundaries and to speak up when you feel your boundaries are crossed. It's not just about being aware of others' boundaries, but also being aware of when someone might not have the ability, agency, power, or strength to speak up."
Survivor: Island of the Idols airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on CBS.
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