After receiving an official warning, and getting called out in-game by fellow competitors, Dan Spilo was removed after "another incident" was reported.
UPDATE at 12:36 am PT on December 18, 2019: Kellee Kim took to Twitter to respond to Dan Spilo's first public statement since his removal from the game, and she was less than impressed with its content.
The contestant, who called out Spilo for unwanted physical contact in the very first episode of the season, and dealt with the repercussions of that until and beyond her own elimination from the game, called out the apology for only apologizing to her when she says he was the cause of "a series of inappropriate incidents that ... impacted a number of women on set."
She further called on CBS and Survivor to take action to "prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future." Shortly after her post, the network and show announced that they would be doing just that in a joint statement laying out how the show's production would change moving forward to better protect its players and production staff.
I truly hope that some of this self reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward. For me, this statement only underscores the responsibility of CBS and Survivor to take action to prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future. #Survivor— Kellee Kim (@kellee_kim) December 17, 2019
UPDATE at 12:00 pm PT on December 17, 2019: Dan Spilo has released his first statement about his time on "Survivor" following his removal from the show. In it, he apologized for "how [his] actions affected" costar Kellee Kim and expressed regret over making anyone "uncomfortable" with his behavior.
"I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor," he told PEOPLE. "After apologizing at the tribal council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously."
"I truly regret that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by my behavior," he continued. "In my life, I have always tried to treat others with decency, integrity and kindness. I can only hope that my actions in the future can help me to make amends and show me to be the kind of father, husband, colleague and friend that I always aim to be."
He did not specifically address why he was pulled from the series.
Original story below.
For the first time in the history of the show, "Survivor" has removed someone over their behavior, though it came two full weeks in-game after contestant Kellee Kim first confronted fellow contestant Dan Spilo about how his touching that made her uncomfortable.
In the latest episode, castaways learned he'd been removed from the game, but were not told the reason why. Viewers, though, were simply informed via full-screen slate that he "was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player."
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Jeff Probst said he couldn't say any more about the "another incident" that ultimately led to Dan's removal, but he did say that the experience of this season has informed how the game will handle situations moving forward. "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," he said.
Multiple sources told PEOPLE the incident involved a female member of the show's production team and Dan touching her leg. A rep for Spilo told the publication he's not commenting on what happened at this time.
Kellee did have something to say, releasing a statement via Twitter after the episode expressing disappointment in how CBS and the show handled her allegations from the beginning. In her statement she accused him of "another incident of inappropriate touching," a claim which has not yet been officially confirmed by CBS, Spilo or anyone involved in the show.
"While Dan's dismissal has validated the concerns that I raised from the beginning of the season, I wish that no one had been 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." She said that she's "continued to feel disappointed by how this patter was allowed to occur for so long," but is hopeful that by speaking out the production -- and everyone -- can learn from her story and "commit to take action."
In another big move, the "Survivor" reunion show will reportedly not air live, but rather will tape four hours early, per Entertainment Weekly.
From the moment Kellee first came forward and spoke out about her alleged encounters with Dan in previous episodes, fans don't think production took things far enough with its reaction. Rather than remove Dan then, he was instead given an official warning in private, with the other contestants none the wiser. At the time, the entire cast was also warned again about inappropriate physical contact in general, but no one was told that Dan was warned about his conduct, which was caught on camera.
Kellee did talk about it with both production and her costars, which led to two fellow contestants weaponizing her allegations as strategy by embellishing or making up stories of their own in an attempt to trick her into thinking she could get Dan out of the game. Instead, she was the next person out, and the first person in the jury.
That meant, she got to sit there during the next tribal council as everything was discussed, but per "Survivor" rules, she did not speak. All of this sat very poorly with fans of the show, and even led to public apologies from the women involved in her ouster. Dan, in the meantime, apologized for anyone he'd made uncomfortable when the initial allegations surfaced and was allowed to stay in the game.
The whole situation has not sat well with "Survivor's" die-hard fans, who have been struggling with the show's handling of these allegations throughout the season. After Dan's removal, they finally unloaded all of that frustration, getting #Survivor trending deep into the night on Wednesday.
You can check out some of their thoughts and reactions below, and expect eagle-eyes and ears on that finale to see if "Survivor" handles their last word on this (for this season) any better in their eyes:
IT👏🏼TOOK👏🏼WEEKS👏🏼FOR👏🏼THIS👏🏼SEXUAL👏🏼PREDATOR👏🏼TO👏🏼BE👏🏼REMOVED👏🏼— Lindsay Brammell (@lindsbramm93) December 12, 2019
....when you could of removed him weeks ago & another incident wouldn't of happen. GOOD JOB @survivorcbs & @CBS for being a JOKE👏🏼 #Survivor39 #Survivor pic.twitter.com/LwEapT4qYX
See this woman? Her tears, her words should've been enough to have Dan removed. When Kellee was sobbing in front of production, that should've been enough. It would be a totally different game if they removed Dan right away. #Survivor pic.twitter.com/HIwdjwlWjj— Paula (@Paula01071004) December 12, 2019
Day 36?????? You guys seriously pulled this shit at the FINAL 6!!!! Dan should have been fucking removed at the merge when Kellee was literally on the verge of tears just talking about him. Kellee by far deserves a second chance honestly more than anyone after this #Survivor— Sean (@survivorsean23) December 12, 2019
Production allowed Dan to remain in the game after harassing fellow players, make it to loved ones visit, but decide to remove him only after his problematic behavior affects the crew?— Julia Carter (@thejuliacarter) December 12, 2019
Wow. I don't want the run around. We need some damn answers. #Survivor
Glad Dan is gone but how bout doing this the first time Dan touched someone inappropriately. Do better #Survivor— Chris (@bob_abooee) December 12, 2019
So Dan could touch the contestants inappropriately and he was only warned, but do it to a production member and he was pulled out of there.— Survivor Reddit (@Survivor_Reddit) December 12, 2019
Good to know how much they care about the contestants.#Survivor
and this— jenny (@jennyautumn) December 12, 2019
YOU. BELIEVE. WOMEN. #survivor
Took 3 steps ahead... then 10 steps back. Progress was beginning to be made. Diversity, editing, social issues..— Julia Carter (@thejuliacarter) December 12, 2019
But CBS completely fumbled the handling of this issue. And worse, they refuse to acknowledge & admit it. Shaking my damn head. Do better. #Survivor
Just think, if they had handled this whole Dan thing properly the first time, this season would have been an hell of a lot more enjoyable #Survivor— The BryPie (@TheBryPie) December 12, 2019
That episode of #Survivor was fucking gross, and only cements a massive breakdown in responsibility by every single higher-up at CBS, @JeffProbst, and the entire production team. I'm actually embarrassed for you. pic.twitter.com/wL2Y1iy5KH— Daniel Rengering (@DanielRengering) December 12, 2019
They could've prevented more people from being hurt if they removed him after the first incident. Believe women. #Survivor— Kristan Marie (@kristanxmarie) December 12, 2019
Women in the game report Dan's actions, he is warned, but not removed.— Hope Tweets Survivor (@HTweetsSurvivor) December 12, 2019
Dan does something to a production or other team member off camera and is promptly removed.
Take away: do not wait to act until YOU or your loved ones are the affected. Take action. #Survivor #Survivor39
Long overdue. Glad Dan was finally pulled but upset it took another incident for it to happen. Production needs to do a far better job at protecting it's contestants #Survivor— Brian Scally (@Brian_Scally) December 12, 2019
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