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Survivor Adapts New Rules After Inappropriate Touching Incident

By Max / Published on Sunday, 22 Dec 2019 03:57 AM / No Comments / 406 views

Following the inappropriate touching scandal that occurred during Season 39, Survivor has announced that new sexual harassment rules, as well as harassment training, will be implemented for contestants and crew members in all future seasons.

A season that host Jeff Probst described as “unprecedented,” Survivor: Island of the Idols is a season that fans will remember for years to come – but it won’t be because of the gameplay that occurred. In the most recent season of the popular survival reality show, contestant Dan Spilo became the first contestant to ever be removed from the game in 39 seasons because of multiple inappropriate touching incidents that occurred. Dan was first warned by producers during the season when fellow contestant Kellee Kim expressed concern over Dan being overly touchy with her despite her having asked him to stop multiple times, and after an incident occurred off-camera where Dan put his hand on the thigh of a female producer, the Hollywood talent manager was removed from the show. The show was criticized by fans for not properly handling the situation at the time, but the show’s producers have announced that the incidents will have a lasting effect on the series.

Related: Survivor’s Kellee Kim Encourages Positivity Amid Touching Incident, But is Still ‘Hurting’

In the wake of the controversy, Survivor producers have released a statement (via People)  that a number of changes will be coming for the game in the following seasons including a new rule that, “unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases cannot be brought into the competition” and more importantly, “will not be permitted as part of gameplay.” The statement says that these new policies “will be covered in the cast orientation for each season, along with clear instructions on how to report violations.” The statement also said that the show will be adding “an on-site professional to talk to players,” and players will be able to “report issues to the professional, who will address their concerns apart from the game.” On top of the new rules and training, “cast members will go through anti-harassment, unconscious bias and sensitivity training on location.” 

Survivor Jeff Probst

The statement also addressed the criticism the show faced from fans who felt the situation had been mishandled, with the network again reiterating the incidents were “unprecedented” and that “important social issues and inappropriate individual behavior intersecting with game play in complex ways that we’ve never seen before.” Though the statement is clear that the producers and the network feel they handled the incidents properly because they “listened to the players intently, investigated responsibly and responded accordingly” it does also acknowledge that “there are things we could have done differently, and we are determined to do better going forward” The network says that on top of the new rules and training for cast & crew members, CBS plans to “develop appropriate enhanced policies and procedures equivalent to the new Survivor measures and adapt them for the network’s other reality programming going forward.”  

The season 39 finale wrapped up and the winner was crowned on December 19th, and the cast is already announced for the upcoming 40th season, Survivor: Winners at War, making it clear that Survivor producers and the network are ready to move forward from the disastrous season. With the new rules and training in place for future seasons as well as the extra personnel adding to support the players, the hope is that never again will contestants have to be subjected to harassment from their fellow players but also that if it were to happen again, it would be better handled than it was this season.

Next: Survivor’s Kellee Kim Happy That Speaking Up Made a Difference After Dan Spilo’s Removal

Source: People

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