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Jeff Probst Stands by Questioning 'Survivor' Contestant About #MeToo Accusations


Last night's 2-hour long episode of 'Survivor' delved into real world topics and the #MeToo movement. Contestant Dan Spilo was accused of making female contestant, Kellee Kim, uncomfortable by being inappropriately touchy and violating her personal space. The accusations sent the island into a whirl wind of rumors and chaos. Jeff Probst sat down with Entertainment weekly to break it down.

"After Kellee and Missy’s conversation about Dan [making them uncomfortable,] one of our co-EP’s interviewed Kellee. This is normal 'Survivor' protocol. And, as you saw, in the interview Kellee got upset, so our producer stopped the interview to ask if Kellee wanted the production to intervene. This is a very important moment because the producer is having to navigate a delicate balance of looking out for Kellee without taking any action that might negatively impact her game," Probst said explaining the root of the problem.

"But based on Kellee’s interview, the producer immediately shared the story with me and I immediately contacted CBS. The decision was made to meet with all players, both as a group and individually, to remind them of personal boundaries and hear of any concerns. 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." Producers expected the issue to end there, but it didn't.

He explained that while Missy and Elizabeth's uncomfortable feelings around Dan are grounds for gameplay against him, their embellishments certainly had a negative impact on him: "On the other side of this story is Dan. One on hand, it’s very clear that Dan’s touching was making some of the women uncomfortable, and we saw many of those moments on camera. There is no denying that it happened. But as Missy and Elizabeth embellished their stories about the situation, it put Dan in an unfair light and further complicated everything. Now the story has taken on a life of its own with several conflicting perspectives."

"Tribal Council is where you are held accountable for your actions. Dan was the central figure in the story, so this was the appropriate forum for the discussion," Probst explained not regretting the discussion surrounding Dan at the tribal council, "This situation also highlighted another layer of the changing dynamic between men and women: You don’t have to feel unsafe to feel uncomfortable and making someone uncomfortable is not okay. This is new territory for this important conversation, and my hope was that everybody could share their point of view, in an open forum, about what had gone down and we could get total clarity."