The American wing of the Survivor show has been on the air for nearly 20 years, lasting some 39 seasons. In that time they’ve had their share of wild cards and loose cannons, as well as some genuinely disturbing behavior. But up until now the producers have never had to eject a contestant. That changed Wednesday, as per Deadline.
The most recent episode ended with a shocking twist, with host Jeff Probst sauntering up to the Lumuwaku Camp to deliver some sad news: Dan Spilo, a prominent producer-manager in Hollywood who’d been competing on this most recent season, had to be removed.
“I just spoke privately with Dan and I want to update you guys,” Probst told the group and the show’s viewers. “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.”
That’s all Probst said about the matter, but a title card at episode end read, “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
CBS didn’t specify either, although, as per Deadline, previously Spilo had been accused by three female contestants of inappropriate touching. Two of them later retracted their claims, saying they made them up to gain an edge in the game. The other, Kellee Kim, did not retract her claim. She was later voted off the show. Kim contacted Entertainment Weekly to comment on Spilo’s ejection.
“CBS and Survivor were on notice of Dan’s behavior from the very first days of the game,” Kim wrote. “And, as Survivor fans know, shortly after I spoke up on camera, I was voted off the show. Since then, I’ve accepted genuine, heartfelt apologies from fellow castaways, but I’ve continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern was allowed to occur for so long.”
She continued: “While I wish many things had gone differently, I’m glad that my decision to speak up made a difference. What is most important to me now is how all of us — CBS, Survivor, other organizations, and all of us as individuals — decide to learn from this story and commit to take action.”
Spilo previously issued a formal apology for his behavior.