Survivor's Kellee Kim Reacts to Dan Spilo's Removal from Show: It 'Validated the Concerns I Raised'
"I've continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern of behavior was allowed to occur for so long," Kim wrote in a statement shared on Twitter
After Wednesday’s episode, in which Spilo was taken out of the competition as a result of an undisclosed “incident,” Kim released a statement on Twitter, explaining “Dan’s dismissal has validated the concerns that I raised.”
“Tonight, on CBS Survivor, Dan Spilo was kicked off the show for, once again, inappropriate touching,” Kim wrote. “While Dan’s dismissal has validated the concerns that I raised from the beginning of this season, I wish that no one else had to be 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 of behavior 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,” Kim continued. “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.”
Kim concluded her message by expressing gratitude for 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 feeling supported and believed, have been an incredible gift.”
After Kim was voted out of the game, Spilo apologized at the time, saying, “I work in an industry in which the #MeToo movement was formed and allowed — thank God — to blossom and become powerful and strong,” he said. “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.”
At the end of Wednesday’s episode, host Jeff Probst came to the tribe’s camp to tell the remaining contestants that Spilo had been removed from the game. He did not elaborate on the reason why Spilo was taken out of the competition, leaving the fellow players to speculate about what happened.
As the show ended, the screen faded to black. Then the following words appeared: “Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player.”
PEOPLE has spoken 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.
At one point, Spilo allegedly touched the female crew member’s leg. According to multiple sources, he insisted that the contact was inadvertent and accidental as he lost his balance while trying to get into the boat. At least one of the remaining contestants witnessed the incident.
But the show’s production team wasn’t convinced that the contact was merely incidental. After consulting with the show’s legal team, producers eventually decided to remove him from the show.
Sources close to Spilo say that he vehemently disagreed with the decision to remove him from the game.
Neither CBS nor Spilo are providing additional comment at this time.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly published after Wednesday’s episode, Probst was asked to elaborate on the nature of the incident. He declined to give more details.
“The question is a fair and reasonable one,” Probst responded. “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.”