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A #MeToo Moment on Survivor

Contestant Dan Spilo accused of being too handsy
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2019 12:25 PM CST
"Survivor" host Jeff Probst is seen Sept. 7, 2017, in Beverly Hills, Calif.   (Photo by Willy Sanjuan/Invision/AP)

(Newser) – Reality TV got quite real Wednesday night during a double episode of Survivor, with an unexpected dose of #MeToo. People reports on the "major scandal" to touch the CBS show involving contestant Dan Spilo, a 48-year-old Hollywood talent manager, and some of his fellow tribe members. Multiple contestants accused Spilo of "inappropriate touching," and one in particular, 29-year-old MBA student Kellee Kim, was especially upset that Spilo kept doing things like putting an arm around her waist and touching her hair, even after she'd made a point of telling everyone she was a "germaphobe" and hated being touched—mainly to subtly let Spilo know he should be hands off with her, per the Washington Post. But the touching didn't stop, and on Wednesday's episode, a teary Kim talked to a producer.

The producer can be heard off-camera telling her, "If there are issues to the point where something needs to happen, come to me and I will make sure that stops." Kim said other women had similar complaints, though two admitted exaggerating their claims to try to get Spilo voted out. (Eventually, however, it was Kim who was voted out.) Producers had a meeting with contestants as a group and individually on "personal boundaries," and Spilo received a warning. At a later tribal council, Spilo noted, "If I ever did anything that ever even remotely made [Kim] feel uncomfortable, it horrifies me, and I am terribly sorry." Host Jeff Probst, meanwhile, tells the Hollywood Reporter, "We are witnessing a real and raw example of another layer of the changing dynamic between men and women: You don't have to feel unsafe to feel uncomfortable, and making someone uncomfortable is not OK." (Read more Survivor stories.)

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