For the first time in 19 years, Survivor has removed a contestant from the show for an unspecified reason. While the veteran reality show is predicated upon regular eliminations, Hollywood talent manager Dan Spilo was removed by producers after an "incident," which followed a former contestant's complaints about alleged inappropriate touching.
“A decision has been made, and Dan will not be returning to the game,” host and executive producer Jeff Probst told the contestants at the end of Wednesday's episode. “He won’t be coming back to camp, he won’t be on the jury. He’s gone.”
"Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player," a title card on the most recent episode added.
In the first episode of this season, contestant Kellee Kim informed Spilo that he had been making her uncomfortable with his touching. While the two resolved the issue, two other contestants came to Kim with similar stories, which they later claimed they exaggerated. Following the airing of Kim's elimination, the contestants both apologized.
Back on the episode, however, Spilo was given a warning and defended himself at the tribal council.
“I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed, thank God, to blossom and become powerful and strong,” he said to his fellow contestants. “My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry.”
Following Spilo's removal, Kim issued a statement on Twitter, saying that "while Dan's dismissal has validated the concerns that I raised from the beginning of this season, I wish that no one else had to be subjected to this type of behaviour."
"I’ve endeavored to be as forthcoming as possible with you regarding everything that has happened this season. In this situation, out of respect for privacy and confidentiality, I can’t say anymore," host Probst told Entertainment Weekly in a statement. "Complex social issues were woven into the game in a way we have never seen before. With our contestants’ welfare at the forefront, we have spent a lot of time discussing every layer of the situation with human resources, diversity and inclusion representatives, show therapists, lawyers, publicists, and standards and practices."
CBS did not immediately respond to Refinery29's request for comment.