Hey, it’s Cho and I’m so disappointed to be reporting on the fall out from the most recent Survivor 39 recap from the last episode. If you missed the 2-hour merge episode from this past Wednesday, you need to go read my recap RIGHT NOW! It has all the dirty details & context needed to follow this bouncing ball of drama! No really, I need you to go and read that post now, but I’ll give you a recap of the drama anyway before moving on to the current timeline.
What The Hell Happened
Kellee experienced real inappropriate touching over the course of the game from fellow contestant Dan starting within the first 6 days of the game. Not only did Kellee experience this, but 4 other female contestants are documented making similar complaints as well as video footage being shown by CBS. Kellee expressed such discomfort that CBS broke the 4th wall and asked her if she would like them to take action. She told them that no, because the dynamics of the tribe would help make Dan be less touchy. CBS, being painfully aware of the #MeToo climate that we live in, decided to have an unprecedented group meeting with the Survivors reminding them of personal boundaries. Not only this, but they gave Dan a private and formal warning. The game went on, but not in the way that you’d expect.
Survivor 39 Recaps Get Right Into #MeToo
Remember that a million dollars is on the line, and contestants are being voted out every 3 days. Enter Missy and Elizabeth who are seemingly on the bottom of a current power struggle. Missy decides that their best plan of action is to exaggerate the claims of uncomfortability around Dan. It’s not exactly clear whether they have completely made these claims up or if they simply exaggerated their feelings towards Dan. Either way, this is grotesque behavior even in the context of playing a game. There a lack of consideration or regard for the life and career of Dan. And it also also diminishes Kellee’s real claims. It’s a double whammy in the worst way possible.
As Ramona Singer would say to Bethenny Frankel, “You don’t support other women!” But you know who DOES support other women? Janet, that’s who! When Kellee brought up her feelings, Janet reassured her that she wouldn’t allow anymore inappropriate touching. Janet tried to give Dan the benefit of the doubt. But, she felt the need to protect the women of the tribe who shared similar experiences.
A plan was hatched to vote Dan out as an “easy vote. ” But instead, Kellee was blindsided for being a major threat. It only got worse as Janet was then left exiled from the tribe and feeling confused. Why she was being blamed by Missy, Aaron and Elizabeth for “misconstruing” things about Dan?
The Apology Tour
So where do we stand now? Obviously, there’s a huge shit festival happening on social media, and the mainstream media has picked up the story as well. There’s many contestants being eviscerated all over the place. At the last tribal council, Aaron claimed that nothing could have happened, because no one told him about it, concluding that Janet was simply playing the victim after her plot was foiled.
Jamal lambasted Aaron, telling him that as men, we need to step back and listen to women when they speak up about issues of harassment. He’s since come out with an emotional apology video that has been well-received. Kellee publicly accepted his apology. Take note of this as Kellee hasn’t accepted the apology of any one else as of the date of this post being written.
Lauren, who has somehow flown under the radar in this clown fiesta, also came out with an apology with the goal of clarifying her stance throughout the episode and how she feels now. It seems her biggest motivating factor is to differentiate herself from Missy & Elizabeth. Girl, I don’t blame you, because Missy & Elizabeth are going down in flames. What are your thoughts on these two specific apologies?
The previous two apologies came swiftly and seemingly organically, but Missy and Elizabeth seem to have done themselves no favors with their statements. Elizabeth’s apology and Missy’s apology seemed to say the exact same thing. And, they were coincidentally posted around the same exact time. The common theme here is that they shirk responsibility by saying they “did not have all the information” in order to handle this situation correctly. Missy & Elizabeth continue to get hammered by all corners of the world after posting their notepad apologies. Let this be a lesson to hire better PR managers.
Where CBS Production Stands
The Hollywood Reporter’s Josh Wigler spoke with executive producer & host of Survivor, Jeff Probst, about how CBS handled this situation. I implore you to read this interview especially if you’re interested in the perspective of the producers. We get more insight into how they conducted the private conversations and why Dan was not ejected from the game. Jeff says something interesting about society moving into new territory: “You don’t have to make someone feel unsafe to make them feel uncomfortable.”
And therein lies the big issue with how to handle Dan. He has since not made any public statements and cannot be found on social media. Most people are viewing him a negative light while there is a small minority who feels that he hasn’t intentionally done anything wrong. Emphasis on the word intention. His life is on the verge of being ruined if not already.
Will Survivor 39 Recaps Be About This For The Rest Of The Season?
This issue is complex. What Dan did is not criminal, but I stand firm in my position that he is not innocent. Missy and Elizabeth’s ability to vilify Dan while also simultaneously sacrificing Kellee as a sheep was a disgusting display. Aaron’s flagrant narcissism and Lauren’s seemingly lack of support towards Kellee were lesser issues that are now being swept under the table. How would you have handled it if you were Kellee on the show? What about Missy? Janet? And Dan himself? Really try to place yourself in each individual’s shoes knowing the context that they are under. How does a production team handle it? Definitely go back and read the interview by Josh Wigler as it details a lot of behind the scenes information that you’d be interested in.
All I know is this: I’m so thankful for people like Jamal and Janet in the world. Take your cues from them. Support your friends, and stand up for them, because you never know when you’ll need someone to stand up for you. Let me know your thoughts in the comment section, and please be respectful to those with opposing views. If you like what I do here on the site, be sure to support me in my other ventures elsewhere on the internet!