For the first time in 39 seasons, the CBS reality TV show removed Dan Spilo from the game after repeated allegations of touching from cast & crew.
Survivor’s Kellee Kim has heard Dan Spilo’s apology for his Survivor actions, and now has some questions.
After the season 39 producers broke the fourth wall to discuss Kellee’s concerns over Dan’s touching, Dan was spoken to by production and later ejected from Survivor: Island of the Idols following another incident, the reality TV contestant spoke out in a statement and apologized to Kellee.
“I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor,” Dan said in a statement released to E! News. “After apologizing at the tribal council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously.”
“I truly regret that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by my behavior. In my life, I have always tried to treat others with decency, integrity and kindness. I can only hope that my actions in the future can help me to make amends and show me to be the kind of father, husband, colleague and friend that I always aim to be,” the statement continued.
On Twitter, Kellee responded.
“It‘s curious that Dan has decided to publicly apologize to me — and just me — on the eve of the #Survivor39 finale for a series of inappropriate incidents that occurred months ago and impacted a number of women on set,” she said in a series of tweets. “I truly hope that some of this self reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward. For me, this statement only underscores the responsibility of CBS and Survivor to take action to prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future.”
On the topic of CBS and Survivor taking actions, the network announced on Tuesday, Dec. 17 that they are implanting new practices following the events of season 39.
“Season 39 of Survivor has been unprecedented for all of us, with important social issues and inappropriate individual behavior intersecting with game play in complex ways that we’ve never seen before. During the course of the production, we listened to the players intently, investigated responsibly and responded accordingly, including taking the unprecedented step of removing a player from the game,” CBS said in a lengthy statement.
“At the same time, we are responsible for the final outcome of this season. We recognize there are things we could have done differently, and we are determined to do better going forward.”
“Survivor has a 20-year track record of a strong support system on locations and after production. It is also a show that continues to evolve, as we respond to what we learn from every new situation and every player. We will take the important lessons we learned from this season and adopt new protocols and procedures for future seasons, to ensure that the events that occurred this season are not repeated,” CBS continued.
Season 40, which has already filmed, the show added to its “pre-production cast orientation specific guidelines regarding personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues.”
As for seasons 41 and beyond, CBS said “the producers are reviewing all elements of the show to further support appropriate interaction, including how the players live during, as well as after they are eliminated from, the competition.”
The network and the show also plan to take additional steps to enhance procedures for training, reporting of issues and prohibited forms of game play. The new measures include, but are not limited to:
“The production will add another on-site professional to provide a confidential means of reporting any concerns, so that the production can address them promptly apart from the game. The full range of reporting processes will be communicated clearly to the players during pre-production orientation. The new executive will add to a support system that already makes mental health providers available to players on location and after they leave the island.”
“The show will enhance its pre-production orientation with new anti-harassment, unconscious bias and sensitivity training for cast, producers and production crew on location.”
“A new rule will be implemented stating unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases cannot be brought into the competition and will not be permitted as part of gameplay. This will be covered in the cast orientation for each season, along with clear instructions on how to report violations.”
“The show will also partner with a third-party expert in the field to review, evolve or add to these new policies and procedures going forward.”
In addition to the above, CBS Entertainment plans on developing enhanced policies and procedures comparable to the new Survivor measures and for the network’s other reality programming going forward.
The Survivor finale airs Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 8 p.m. on CBS.