Survivor’s Dan Spilo regrets ‘anyone was made to feel uncomfortable’

Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Photo: Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment ©2019 CBS Broadcasting, Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Dan Spilo, Survivor: Island of the Idols castaway removed from the game, has made a public statement that looks like a sincere apology to the untrained eye.

We’re less than 24 hours away from the live-to-tape filming of the Survivor: Island of the Idols finale, and it feels like the show wants to do nothing more than move onto the next great thing ahead and pretend season 39 didn’t happen. We have no press photos to share at the moment and there isn’t even a press release for the finale CBS’ highest-rated show (excluding sports and news).

A big reason for the negativity (a primary reason for some, the solitary reason for others) is Dan Spilo’s inappropriate actions towards multiple women, most notably Kellee Kim. Despite a warning being offered at the merge, the victim who spoke up was voted out and Dan was forcibly removed from the game weeks later when allegedly touching the leg of a production member.

Now that it seems Dan Spilo will be unable to attend the Survivor: Island of the Idols finale tomorrow, he has now made a statement to PEOPLE, saying, “I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor. After apologizing at the Tribal Council when I first learned that Kellee still felt uncomfortable, I want to make sure I do so again, clearly and unambiguously.

“I truly regret that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable by my behavior. In my life, I have always tried to treat others with decency, integrity and kindness. I can only hope that my actions in the future can help me to make amends and show me to be the kind of father, husband, colleague and friend that I always aim to be.”

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Kellee has responded to Dan Spilo’s statement on Twitter, noting that it is focused on actions made towards her alone despite multiple incidents with multiple women. “I truly hope that some of this self-reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward,” Kellee wrote in her tweet. “For me, this statement only underscores the responsibility of CBS and Survivor to take action to prevent anything like this from ever happening again in the future.”

What is heinously unfortunate about how production handled Dan Spilo’s removal from the game is that they’ve handled very sensitive issues in the past. Though those who victimized others at Tribal Council (and his friends) disagree, the immediate negative feedback of Jeff Probst and the players of Jeff Varner’s attack on Zeke Smith showed production taking a serious issue seriously. They even worked with GLAAD to make sure the episode was aired properly and received their reality TV award the year that episode aired.

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There are many uncertainties that are involved in the removal of Dan Spilo, as there are in anything involving a reality TV show where 15 hours of television are shown across 39 days of life. We hope to see support for institutions like RAINN appear at some point during tomorrow’s finale, although that remains to be seen.