For the first time ever, a Survivor player has been ejected from the game. At the end of Wednesday night’s episode, Survivor host Jeff Probst informed the players that their fellow castmate Dan Spilo left the game and would not be returning, would not be a part of jury or attend the finale.
Following the December 11 episode, a title card flashed the following: “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
If you’ve been following the season, then you know that Dan’s behavior has been the cause of great controversy this season. Contestant Kellee Kim first complained about Dan’s inappropriate touching all the way back in Episode 1. When his behavior worsened, and others experienced it also, it came out in an explosive episode that resulted in Kellee being voted out and Dan getting let off the hook.
But after Dan’s behavior was reported by someone not on the cast – and we can only assume it was a production member – he was finally removed from the game on Day 35.
Probst cannot comment on specifics of the matter, but he told Entertainment Weekly that they will look closer at how to handle this kind of behavior in the future.
“We have learned a great deal and it will inform our process and protocols on how to evolve moving forward,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly. “While we still want to maintain the competitive aspect of the game, above all, we want to ensure that all players always feel safe and respected. These conversations both internally and with outside organizations will continue.”
Update: Why was Dan Spilo removed from Survivor?
According to People Magazine, the off-camera incident happened after an immunity challenge and involved Dan touching the leg of a female production member.
The controversy surrounding Dan has also led to some changes in this year’s season finale. EW reported that the reunion show will not be live and will be pre-taped due to sensitivity issues and security concerns. There are no specifics on why they decided to not do it live, but it surely has to do with what happened with Dan’s removal. But again, Probst has already said Dan will not be attending the reunion. But the topic is sure to dominate the discussion.
The season finale of Survivor 39 is next Wednesday, December 18 from 8-11 PM on CBS. Join us back here for our live recap of the season finale as we update you on who wins Survivor Island of the Idols.