Hollywood talent manager Dan Spilo is the first “Survivor” contestant to be removed from the series following inappropriate behavior.
At the end of the Dec. 11 episode of “Survivor,” host Jeff Probst told players that Spilo would no longer be participarting in the game.
“Ok, so I just spoke privately with Dan and I want to update you guys,” he said. “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.”
A title card followed the conclusion of the episode, which read, “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.” CBS declined to comment beyond the title card’s statement.
Throughout the current season of “Survivor,” its 39th, various female contestants expressed discomfort with Spilo’s inability to respect their space, numerous occurrences of which were captured on-camera. Contestant Kellee Kim asked Spilo to his face if he could better respect her wishes that he maintain a better distance. Spilo later apologized if anyone misinterpreted his physical conduct.
Following a fumbling response in which producers told Kim to speak to them if Spilo continued to cross the line — despite the fact that she had already made her discomfort with his actions clear — producers issued an official warning to Spilo that he cease his behavior on day 22 of the game.
Kim posted a statement on Twitter following news of Spilo’s removal, expressing her disappointment and dismay that Spilo was allowed to continue on the show and harass others after CBS and “Survivor” were made aware of his behavior.
“I wish that no one else had to be subjected to this type of behavior,” she wrote. “CBS and ‘Survivor’ were on notice of Dan’s behavior from the very first days of the game..I’ve continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern of behavior was allowed to occur for so long.”
“What is most important now,” she continued, “is how all of us — CBS, ‘Survivor,’ other organizations, and all of us individuals — decide to learn from this story and take action.”
“In the episode broadcast last night, several female castaways discussed the behavior of a male castaway that made them uncomfortable,” CBS and producers said in a statement following Spilo’s warning. “During the filming of this episode, producers spoke off-camera to all the contestants still in the game, both as a group and individually, to hear any concerns and advise about appropriate boundaries. A formal warning was also given to the male castaway in question. On ‘Survivor,’ producers provide the castaways a wide berth to play the game. At the same time, all castaways are monitored and supervised at all times. They have full access to producers and doctors, and the production will intervene in situations where warranted.”
The latest decision to remove Spilo occurred 14 days after his citation.
Variety‘s Caroline Framke called “Survivor’s” handling of the original allegations of improper behavior “downright insulting, and a baffling display of the show’s inability to grasp the gravity of what happened on its watch.”