Season 39 of Survivor is currently airing on CBS and after all this time, it is a challenge to see something happen that is truly a franchise first. During Wednesday night’s show, however, there was a significant “first” when Dan Spilo was removed from the game off-camera. Now some details about what allegedly happened are emerging.
Those who have been watching Survivor: Island of the Idols know that Dan has found himself in some trouble before. Earlier this season, contestant Kellee Kim said she was made uncomfortable with what she felt was inappropriate touching by Dan.
Then, the situation escalated with two other female contestants claiming they had experienced issues, too. They later apologized for using the situation to their advantage, and this caused a fair amount of chaos among the Season 39 contestants as well as the viewers.
Now, something else happened that was severe enough that production felt they needed to remove Dan from Survivor entirely. Jeff Probst spoke to Entertainment Weekly after the episode aired to share a bit of insight.
The off-camera incident reportedly involved someone in production, not another Survivor contestant. It seems that even the other players were not given specifics about what happened other than being told that something had happened that necessitated his removal.
When asked directly about what happened, Jeff said that he couldn’t say anything more out of respect for privacy and confidentiality issues. Jeff did say that Dan was not happy when he was told he was being pulled from the game. However, Dan had calmed down and was respectful after a lengthy discussion about the situation.
Jeff may not feel at liberty to reveal specifics, but People notes that they have learned a little bit more. According to the outlet, they spoke with several people connected to the Survivor production team and this off-screen incident did involve a member of production.
The incident in question happened after an immunity challenge when Dan and others were boarding a boat to be taken back to their camp area. Dan allegedly touched the leg of a female production member and at least one of the other Survivor contestants saw it happen.
When confronted about the incident, Dan apparently said that he had lost his balance getting onto the boat and touching the crew member’s leg was incidental. However, production seemingly was not convinced and after talking with the legal team, they felt it was necessary to remove Dan from the game.
Just five castaways remain with the Survivor finale right around the corner. Will Dan be at the live reunion show and face questions about what happened? It doesn’t look as if he’s sharing anything publicly at this point, and fans will be interested to see how the show handles the rest of this season after Dan’s alleged incident and game removal.