Jeff Probst Promises Changes On ‘Survivor’ After Innapropriate Touching Incident

Jeff Probst hosts Survivor Season 39
Robert Voets / CBS

Survivor host Jeff Probst confirmed that changes will be made during the upcoming seasons of the hit reality series. Two episodes ago, the show, its producers, and its contestants came under fire for the handling of a situation involving inappropriate touching. Kellee Kim made it clear to some cast members and producers that she felt uncomfortable with the way Dan Spilo continued to touch her throughout the season. Pertinent production personnel became involved and spoke to the cast together and as individuals regarding personal space and inappropriateness, and Probst now claims circumstances will be different moving forward into Season 40.

After each episode, Probst catches up with Entertainment Weekly to discuss that week’s events. With the “#MeToo” episode being heavily discussed on social media, the interview still revolved around the Dan/Kellee episode that aired two weeks ago.

“It’s an unprecedented and unfortunate situation that is still very raw for a lot of the players and fans. We are all trying to learn from it,” Probst said of the incident.

“We will definitely be using the lessons learned from the Dan situation as a guide in how to handle similar situations in future seasons. We have already started discussing ideas for how to change things in the future.”

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Probst, who serves as a producer on the show, didn’t give any further details regarding what he and his team will be moving forward into future Survivor seasons, but things are going to be different. Kellee has spoken out on Twitter after the episode aired and thanked viewers for all the support she was getting, and admitted to being disappointed in what happened. Since Dan is still a contestant on Survivor: Island of the Idols, he has not spoken out in any interviews at this time.

The topic of bullying also came up in Probst’s interview with Entertainment Weekly. The producer was tasked with tackling two very difficult topics of discussion, the second involving Karishma Patel. The underdog hasn’t been able to connect with anyone all season and it looked like her time was up this past Wednesday until she spun things in her favor.

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“Bullying is something we are all sensitive to and nobody likes it as it can cause so much damage and impact each of us in different ways,” Probst said of an incident involving Karishma and Missy Byrd.

Unlike the incident with Kellee and Dan, production does not intervene when bullying occurs on the show as that situation is an unfortunate part of the gameplay.

Survivor: Island of the Idols airs every Wednesday night at 8 p.m. ET on CBS.