At the end of Wednesday night’s episode of Survivor: Island of Idols, it was revealed that player Dan Spilo was removed from the game as a result of an undisclosed “incident.”
“Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player,” the on-screen explanation read, but no further reason was given.
After many questions from viewers, PEOPLE reached out to “multiple people involved with the show’s production, who confirmed that the incident in question — which involved a member of the show’s production team — happened after an immunity challenge as Spilo and other contestants were getting into a boat to transport them back to the camp.”
One allegation included Spilo inappropriately touching a female crew member’s leg. According to numerous sources, he insisted that the contact was unintentional and accidental because he lost balance while he tried to get back into the boat. One of the remaining contestants n the show witnessed the incident.
However, the show’s production team wasn’t convinced that Spilo’s contact with the female crew member was incidental. After the producers consulted the show’s legal team, they decided to remove him from the show.
Multiple sources revealed to PEOPLE that he strongly disagreed with their decision to remove him from the competition.
The controversy surfaced weeks after Spilo, who is a Hollywood agent, was accused of inappropriately touching a female contestant earlier in the season. During the dramatic episode, Kellee Kim expressed her worry over Spilo violating her personal space, even after she asked him multiple times to stop.
She was then voted out of the game – and he apologized with, “I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed — thank God — to blossom and become powerful and strong. My personal feeling is if anyone ever felt for a second uncomfortable about anything I’ve ever done, I’m horrified about that and I’m terribly sorry.”
Following Wednesday’s episode, Entertainment Weekly published an interview with Survivor host Jeff Probst. He was asked to explain more about the nature of the allegations. However, the host declined to elaborate.
“The question is a fair and reasonable one,” Probst said. “I’ve endeavored to be as forthcoming as possible with you regarding everything that has happened this season. In this situation, out of respect for privacy and confidentiality, I can’t say anymore.”
At this time, CBS or Spilo have not provided a statement about the allegations, but it was revealed that for the first time ever, the reunion show would not be airing it live and instead it would be pre-taped due to sensitivity and security issues surrounding the situation.
Kellee Kim, who was voted off shortly after producers initially talked to Spilo about the allegations from female cast members, issued another statement after he was removed on the Wednesday, Dec. 11 episode.
“Tonight, on CBS Survivor, Dan Spilo was kicked off for, once again, inappropriate touching. 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 Survivor fans know, shortly after I spoke up on camera, I was voted off the show. 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.
“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.
“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”
— Kellee Kim (@kellee_kim) December 12, 2019