Nearly one week after Dan Spilo became the first-ever contestant to be removed from Survivor by producers, the controversial castaway has spoken out on the actions that prompted his removal.
The reality star has issued a Mea Culpa.
"I am deeply sorry for how my actions affected Kellee during the taping of this season of Survivor,” Spilo told People magazine on Tuesday, referencing the way he made contestant Kellee Kim uncomfortable.
“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."
Spilo, a 48-year-old Hollywood agent, was ejected from the long-running series on day 36 after an incident in which he allegedly touched a female producer’s thigh as he was getting into a transport boat.
This wasn’t the first time he had some under fire for such behavior, either.
Just weeks prior, Spilo was accused of inappropriately touching contestant Kellee Kim.
"In my life, I have always tried to treat others with decency, integrity and kindness," he continued in his People Magazine message, concluding as follows:
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.
Earlier in the season, Kim expressed concern that Spilo had violated her personal space by touching her hair, arms and legs… even after she made multiple requests for him to stop.
She was voted out of the game after raising her concerns to other contestants.
And she isn’t taking too kindly to Spilo’s apology now, either.
"It’s curious that Dan has decided to publicly apologize to me – and just me – on the eve of the #Survivor39 finale for a series of inappropriate incidents that occurred months ago and impacted a number of women on set," she Tweeted last night, adding:
"I truly hope that some of this self-reflection is real and that Dan changes his behavior going forward.
"For men, 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. #Survivor."
Spilo insisted last week that the contact with the aforementioned producers was inadvertent, claiming he lost his balance while trying to get into the boat.
In a new statement from CBS, the network said it will institute new guidelines moving forward.
"Season 39 of Survivor has been unprecedented for all of us, with important social issues and inappropriate individual behavior intersecting with game play in complex ways that we’ve never seen before," this statement reads.
"During the course of the production, we listened to the players intently, investigated responsibly and responded accordingly, including taking the unprecedented step of removing a player from the game.
"At the same time, we are responsible for the final outcome of this season. We recognize there are things we could have done differently, and we are determined to do better going forward.
"Survivor has a 20-year track record of a strong support system on locations and after production. It is also a show that continues to evolve, as we respond to what we learn from every new situation and every player.
"We will take the important lessons we learned from this season and adopt new protocols and procedures for future seasons, to ensure that the events that occurred this season are not repeated."
For season 40, the pre-production cast orientation now included "specific guidelines regarding personal space, inappropriate behavior, and how to report these issues."
Going forward, "producers are reviewing all elements of the show to further support appropriate interaction, including how the players live during, as well as after they are eliminated from, the competition."
The show will include a new rule "stating unwelcome physical contact, sexual harassment and impermissible biases cannot be brought into the competition and will not be permitted as part of gameplay.
"This will be covered in the cast orientation for each season, along with clear instructions on how to report violations."
That’s good news and all, but it also raises this question:
HOW WERE THESE NEW RULES NOT IN PLACE BEFORE?