Survivor Castaway Ejected for Inappropriate Conduct

Seen above is castaway, Dan Spilo, who was removed from the game after touching the women of the show inappropriately.


Seen above is castaway, Dan Spilo, who was removed from the game after touching the women of the show inappropriately.

Elise Smith and Nicholas Moyer

On Wednesday, December 11th at 8pm, Survivor fans turned on the television as they routinely did, not expecting what was to come. Little did they know, for the first time in Survivor history, a player would be ejected from the competition.


The morning after tribal council on day 36, as the players were loitering around their campsite, Survivor host, Jeff Probst, announced that Dan Spilo would not be returning to the game due to inappropriate conduct. The statement left many viewers pondering the question: “what was the incident?”


Sources told ET News that Spilo was removed from the game after touching a camerawoman inappropriately after a challenge. Spilo claimed the touching was accidental, but nevertheless, it was determined he would need to leave the game and would not get the privilege to join the jury.


This was not new behavior for Spilo. 


From the start of the game, fellow castaway, Kellee Kim raised concerns of Spilo’s behavior, specifically honing in on her own discomfort. She eventually had a discussion with Dan saying, “Being a touchy person, It’s kinda a lot. We kind of talked about it and we had a really good conversation. But I feel like Dan’s lack of spiritual awareness is going to hurt him in the game.”


Kim’s point held true as the game continued.


During episode eight (11/13), Kim was brought to tears, saying, “It’s super upsetting because it’s like you can’t do anything about it.” She went on to mention it may affect her image in the competition.


As Kim continued to voice her opinion, a producer interrupted to reassure her, “You know, if there are issues to the point where things need to happen, come to me and I will make sure that stops. I don’t want anyone feeling uncomfortable.”


Later on in the episode, there was talk of voting Spilo out, to make the young women feel more secure, but some contestants decided not to go through with it.


Many male contestants believed it was not a serious issue because the women hadn’t addressed it with them. 


Castaway Aaron Meredith mentions at tribal council, “If this was actually an issue, I would have heard about it,” oblivious to the fact that the young women may have felt similar to Kim, that bringing up the issue would affect their gameplay.


This brought contestant, Janet Carbin, to tears. When asked why she voted for Spilo, Carbin responded, “People were doing gameplay where I moved into a different area where I made a decision based on my moral character.” Later in an interview she told the producer, “I could not ignore these girls.”


After Spilo’s behavior was addressed, he apologetically stated, “If I ever did anything even remotely that made her feel uncomfortable, it horrifies me, and I am terribly sorry.” 


But, evidently, the behavior didn’t stop.


During Episode 12 (12/11), the issue was not brought up until the very end, leaving viewers with a lasting thought of confusion. The episode showed Probst walking up to the contestants camp, where he informed the other contestants that Spilo had been removed. Soon after, a message appeared on the screen which read, “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”  


Gracie Nelson, a Sophomore, has strong feelings about this: “I wish people could get together and make sure things like this weren’t a reality. I want to know why he wasn’t kicked off the show when allegations against him first arose.”


After the episode, Kim wrote on Twitter,




Although it is said that Spilo left “respectfully,” Probst made a statement that they do not want castaways to discuss the incident, which is the reason that the Survivor reunion show will not be airing as a live event, another first in the show’s history. Castaways Elizabeth Beisel and Jack Nichting decided not to go to the reunion due to their being scared that they would face a backlash from the incident.


We personally believe that when Kim brought up her concerns in episode 8, Spilo should have been removed from the game, not after an incident occurred to a staff member. 


Senior Elijah Royal exclaims, “[Spilo] showed his true colors and should have been removed long before he did,” which many other students agreed.


Sophomore Hannah Frey states, “[Spilo] was a creep.” 


Many fans of the show and past contestants feel that Spilo’s actions took away from the true show. They believe the season will only be remembered for his actions rather than crazy Noura Salman  or fish out of water Karishma Patel.


Sexual assault or harassment is never justified. If you or someone you know has suffered from sexual harassment or assault call  800.656.HOPE (4673) or go to


Update: CBS told viewers during the live finale that due to Kim’s efforts in vocalizing her experience, CBS has made changes to create a safer environment for staff and future castaways.