The fallout from the November 13 episode of Survivor: Island of the Idols is still in full effect, and some of the cast members involved are speaking out on social media.
What’s now being dubbed as the “#MeToo Episode,” the controversial two-hour long episode saw a female competitor getting upset over the way a male competitor repeatedly touched her in a way that made her feel uncomfortable. Kellee Kim broke down while speaking with production about Dan Spilo, and the entire cast was spoken to behind the scenes about the behavior, according to host Jeff Probst.
Fellow contestant Missy Byrd claimed she also was not OK with Dan’s touching, and Elizabeth Beisel shared that she felt the same way. The two women ended up using the situation between Dan and Kellee to advance their gameplay, which disgusted fans across Twitter.
According to Us Weekly, the two women have since apologized after the episode aired.
“After watching the episode, my eyes were opened to a completely different truth, and I received an abundance of information that I was entirely unaware of while playing the game,” Elizabeth tweeted the day after the episode. “I had no idea the severity of the situation. As a player, I am limited to my own experiences and knowing what I know now, my decisions would have been very different.”
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Am I laughing or crying? Probably a little bit of both! If anything, Survivor has reminded me of how lucky I am to have genuine, truly good loved ones in my life. I am so grateful for all of the support this season from friends, family, and fans. Thank you — you have all made watching this back so incredibly fun. I first applied to be on the show because of my love for the game but as I went through casting, it became so much more than that. It was important to me to be a positive role model and break the stereotypes that still persist in Hollywood, reality television, and society at large. I hope I was able to do a little bit of that and bring a bit of joy and laughter to your Wednesday nights ???? #survivor #season39 #islandoftheidols
Elizabeth personally apologized to Kellee in her lengthy tweet, expressing that she had no idea her former co-star was as hurt as she was by Dan’s actions. Elizabeth also apologized to Janet Carbin, whom she took advantage of and blindsided at Tribal Council. Janet listened to the stories about Dan from the other women in the tribe, voting to send him home to make the other women feel safe.
Missy also reached out on social media in a lengthy post.
“I became so caught up in game play that I did not realize a very serious situation, nor did I handle it with the care that it deserved,” Missy wrote. “Due to the nature of Survivor, I was viewing the game through a small lens and with a limited scope. I did not have all the information on the subject and I made a game move that was unjust. … This is a life changing learning moment for me.”
Lauren Ashley also spoke out about the situation. While most of the criticism from Twitter users was directed at Missy and Elizabeth, some fans also called out Lauren for defending Dan and not taking Kellee’s side.
I want to deeply apologize to all women and more specifically Kellee and Janet. While I had my own experiences and feelings towards Dan, I spoke with him and it stopped. While ignorance is not an excuse, after the merge I did not know the full extent of Kellee’s feelings
— Lauren Ashley (@LaurenAshBeck) November 14, 2019
Aaron Meredith took to Instagram to share his feelings about the matter, posting a video where he got very upset about how he behaved at Tribal Council. Aaron was attacked on Twitter for “mansplaining” the Dan and Kellee story at Tribal, with many viewers criticizing him for not sticking up for the women. The two-time immunity idol winner said he had no excuses for his behavior, saying that he was “out of line.”
Survivor: Island of the Idols airs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.