Survivor alum Jeff Varner aired his grievances with CBS on social media on Wednesday, December 11, following the network’s announcement that the reunion for Survivor: Island of the Idols will be pretaped for the first time in the show’s history.
“What just happened on Survivor tonight is 100% bull s—t. I have so much to say and am fuming right now. About to climb the walls,” Jeff, 53, wrote on Facebook after the show’s Wednesday episode aired.
For the first time in 39 seasons, Survivor’s reunion will be pretaped four hours before it airs on Wednesday, December 18, Entertainment Weekly reports, due to the sensitive material of this season and security concerns. The news comes after the show removed contestant Dan Spilo from the series for an “off-camera incident.”
“I’ve talked to cast members. I know what happened that got him removed and I’m telling you, 100% horse s—t. The cast has rallied behind Dan and few to no one is behind Kellee,” Jeff, who competed on three Survivor seasons, wrote in regards to the reunion change. “It’s so painful to see what is happening with this show. They are pre-taping the reunion because cast members plan to publicly support Dan and call out producers. Can’t have that on a live mic. Ugh. So pissed. Rant over. For now.”
Jeff also took to Twitter let out his frustrations with the situation writing, “100% horse s—t! The truth will get out. No pre-taped reunion will hide it. #Survivor.”
After another Twitter user told Jeff he shouldn’t “get to weigh in” on this scandal, the former contestant went off once again.
“I’m the perfect person to weigh in. I know what happened. I’ve spoken to these people. That full screen disclaimer is a crock,” the real estate agent tweeted back. “That prepared reunion is cowardice. This producer manipulation is 100% bull s—t. When you know what really goes on then you can tell me your opinion.”
The former reality star replied to another Twitter user’s response echoing his right to weigh in on Wednesday’s announcement. “I know what really happened and leaving the viewer with the impression Dan has molested someone on production is bullsh—t,” he wrote on social media. “The cast is not happy. They love Dan. Threats of boycotts. They’re not going to allow them near a live mic. Cowards.”
Jeff is no stranger to Survivor controversy. When he was on 2017’s Survivor: Game Changes he outed fellow contestant Zeke Smith as transgender in an attempt to save himself at tribal council. Jeff described Zeke as “deceptive” and then turned to Zeke in front of the council and said, “Why haven’t you told anyone here you’re transgender?”
His actions backfired and led to his immediate elimination. “We don’t need to vote,” host Jeff Probst said during the April 2017 episode. “Just grab your torch.”
The most-recent scandal in Survivor, which resulted in the reunion format change, started when season 39 contestant Kellee Kim first told Dan, 48, that his touching made her uncomfortable during the first day of the competition. He was given a formal warning from production at day 22. Upon learning of his removal, she shared her thoughts on Twitter.
“Tonight, on CBS Survivor, Dan Spilo was kicked off the show for, once again, inappropriate touching. 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,” she wrote via Twitter on Wednesday.
“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,” she continued. “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.”
Probst, however, told EW that he could not speak about the player removal or disclose any additional details “out of respect for privacy and confidentiality.” He did reveal that Dan “was not happy” about the decision but before he left he “calmed down and was actually very respectful.”
The Survivor: Island of the Idols finale and reunion airs on CBS Wednesday, December 18, from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
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