Survivor has been not only about surviving dangerous tasks presented upon the contestants. From the beginning, the show has dealt with representation and other social issues like gender and race. Though this time, the reality show was not left untouched by the renowned #MeToo movement.
On Wednesday,’ We Made It To The Merge’ two-hour episode saw allegations against contestant Dan Spilo. The contestant is a Hollywood Talent Manager known for handling stars like Joey King, Supernatural star Jared Padalecki, and Kal Penn.
The accusations and the accused!
The man was accused of inappropriate touching even after the woman protested. The tense atmosphere even influenced the game as tense Tribal Council evoked the #MeToo movement.
Though the contestant was not voted out of the show, the issue of five women accusing the man turned so grave that the producers had to step in in front of the camera. And the show showed text explaining producers talked with each individual and warned Spilo for his misconduct.
Kellee Kim, Missy Byrd, and Elizabeth confided to Janet Carbin, the lifeguard regarding Dan’s uncomfortable behavior.
Though this was not the first time, he was questioned about his conduct. In fact, Kellee questioned him on the season’s premiere only about his unconsented touching.
The episode showed various footage of Dan behaving in regard to violating others’ space.
Various experiences and views
Missy shared that she felt someone was touching her toes. And then found out that it was the man himself. She vehemently stated that she is not an object to be touched by anyone anyway.
Kellee shared emotionally that she recognized that she was not alone after conversing with four other women. She regards it as awful and says the violation was patterned happening with others also.
Janet shared a neutral view that she thought of Dan’s physical behavior as casual. But she recognizes that if five women are speaking against it, then there must be something. But if the allegations are unfounded, then the contestant would be devastated.
What is the truth?
The voting in the show was set to eliminate Dan, but Kellee plays gamely, trying to eliminate Missy. Consequently, Kellee herself is eliminated and sent to Jury. But the confrontation took a turn as Dan spoke with the ones who accused her.
Elizabeth shared that it was snippets and small talks here and there that turned out big. She does not feel uncomfortable, but the situation she thought of as people joking around turned serious.
Elizabeth, Missy, and others cleared to Dan that the situation was twisted and presented differently.
The controversy involved everyone as the issue spread about. Dan shared that he feels sad that such a thing happened. And he does not want to ever be in a situation where someone is harmed in any way due to him.
Further, Dan said that he is extremely sorry if the game and the situation in any way landed the women with him in such a situation. Thus he apologizes and says that whatever the women felt, it is their truth, which he could not deny.
But he asserted that he is a kind and gentle person. And his intentions were never to make any women uncomfortable around him. Still, he is saddened that such a serious issue turned out to be on the mercy of the gameshow.
People are divided between believing or blaming. Thus views on the women’s diverse views and subsequent doubt worming its way into the hearts of the viewers have proved that the issue has garnered public attention.