'Survivor' castoff Kellee Kim responds to Dan Spilo's 'Island of the Idols' removal for alleged "inappropriate touching"
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 12/12/2019
Survivor: Island of the Idols castaway Kellee Kim, who accused Dan Spilo of inappropriate touching early in the game, is responding to Dan's sudden removal from Survivordue to "another incident" that happened off-camera -- and she's apparently not at all surprised.
Kellee captioned a lengthy Twitter post on Wednesday, "My thoughts on tonight's episode of @survivorcbs and Dan Spilo's removal for another incident of inappropriate touching #Survivor39."
At the end of the Survivor broadcast, the screen faded to black and the following statement appeared: "Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player."
While the vague statement did not provide any additional details about the off-screen incident, the phrasing suggested Dan was involved in another incident of inappropriate touching.
Dan is the first Survivorcastaway ever removed by producers from the game during the show's 39 seasons, which have featured hundreds of castaways over 19 years. (Past players who prematurely departed the game had been medically evacuated or chose to quit on their own accord).
During her time in the game, Kellee complained she was "disgusted" and had been "disrespected" by Dan's "extremely inappropriate" behavior, which resulted in producers issuing Dan a warning on Day 22, according to a statement broadcast on the season's eighth episode.
Given the statement's claim that the new incident didn't "involve a player," it would seem to have involved a Survivor crew member working on the show's production.
"Tonight, on CBS Survivor, Dan Spilo was kicked off for, once again, inappropriate touching," Kellee wrote, although no one -- including Survivor host Jeff Probst -- has been able to confirm that's exactly why Dan was kicked off the show out of "respect for privacy and confidentiality."
Kellee continued, "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."
"CBS and Survivor were on notice of Dan's behavior from the very first days of the game. And, as Survivorfans know, shortly after I spoke up on camera, I was voted off the show," she wrote.
"Since then, I've accepted genuine, heartfelt apologies from fellow castaways, but I've continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern was allowed to occur for so long."
FOLLOW REALITY TV WORLD ON THE ALL-NEW GOOGLE NEWS!
Reality TV World is now available on the all-new Google News app and website. Click here to visit our Google News page, and then click FOLLOW to add us as a news source!
Following Elaine Stott's vote off at Tribal Council, Jeff surprised Noura Salman, Lauren Beck, Tommy Sheehan, Janet Carbin, and Dean Kowalski at their Lumuwaku camp -- seemingly out of nowhere -- to "share some news" on Day 36.
The tribe automatically assumed it "meant bad news" for Dan since the 48-year-old talent manager who currently resides in Los Angeles, CA, was missing.
"I just spoke privately with Dan, and I want to update you guys. 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," Jeff explained to the castaways, without going into further detail.
Jeff told Entertainment Weekly that much like his approach in dealing with the press, he did not inform the castaways about the incident that resulted in Dan's removal also "out of respect for privacy and confidentiality."
"While I wish many things had gone differently, I'm glad that my decision to speak up made a difference. What is most important to me now is how all of us -- CBS, Survivor, other organizations, and all of us as individuals -- decide to learn from this story and commit to take action," Kellee continued in her Twitter statement.
"Lastly, I am grateful to the many people who have reached out to me over the last few weeks to share their own stories and messages of solidarity. These messages, of being supported and believed, have been an incredible gift. Thank you. -- Kellee."
Dan became the first Survivorcastaway ever to be removed by producers from the game. (Past players who prematurely departed the game had been medically evacuated or chose to quit on their own accord).
"When we first told Dan we were pulling him from the game, he was not happy. We talked through everything for quite a while, and by the time he got on the boat to leave he had calmed down and was actually very respectful as he departed," Jeff revealed in his interview with EW.
Jeff also insisted during the interview measures are being taken to prevent similar situations from happening in the future onSurvivor.
"We have learned a great deal and it will inform our process and protocols on how to evolve moving forward," Jeff said of the Dan controversy.
"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. These conversations both internally and with outside organizations will continue."
Viewers only saw a quick glimpse of how Survivor's remaining castaways reacted to the news of Dan's exit on Wednesday night's episode.
Janet recognized "very real-world things" were coming into play and said it would be a lot to process, while Tommy was upset because Dan had been one of his closest allies. Tommy had been hoping he'd go to the Final 3 with Dan and Dean.
Survivor: Island of the Idols' two-hour finale airs next Wednesday night at 8PM ET/PT, followed by a one-hour reunion special on CBS.