Four castaways from Survivor: Island of the Idols issued apologies after coming under fire for their actions in the recent #MeToo-centric episode.
Elizabeth Beisel, Missy Byrd, Lauren Beck and Aaron Meredith took to social media after viewers called out the way they handled their castmate Dan Spilo being accused of unwanted physical touching on the Wednesday, November 13, episode. Elizabeth and Missy, in particular, sparked backlash for exaggerating and fabricating their allegations against Dan, 49, as a strategic game move.
“After watching the episode, my eyes were opened to a completely different truth, and I received an abundance of information that I was entirely unaware of while playing the game,” Elizabeth, 27, tweeted on Thursday, November 14. “I had no idea the severity of the situation. As a player, I am limited to my own experiences and knowing what I know now, my decisions would have been very different.”
The competitive swimmer then individually addressed her tribemates Kellee Kim and Janet Carbin. Kellee, 30, had been the most vocal of Dan’s accusers on the island, while Janet, 60, did her best to protect her fellow female cast members from the situation.
“To Kellee. I was sick to my stomach watching the episode and seeing how much pain you were in,” Elizabeth tweeted. “I wholeheartedly apologize to you for using your accusations against Dan for gameplay. In no world is that acceptable, and I take full responsibility for my actions, and lack thereof.”
To Janet, the Olympian wrote, “I deeply regret ever taking advantage of you in the game this way. Watching the episode, it was clear your sole intention was to protect us women, and I am distraught by the way I handled this situation. I am extremely sorry.”
Elizabeth ended her lengthy statement with a message to “women everywhere,” writing, “Sexual harassment and sexual assault are extremely serious, life altering topics that I do not take lightly. They have no business being used as tactics to further one’s own agenda, whether it be in real life or in the game of Survivor. I am beyond disappointed in my behavior and will use this as a life-changing, teaching moment.”
— Elizabeth Beisel (@ebeisel34) November 15, 2019
Missy, 25, also expressed regret to Kellee and Janet via Twitter on Thursday, calling them “so courageous” and praising them for “leading by example” in the game.
“I became so caught up in game play that I did not realize a very serious situation, nor did I handle it with the care that it deserved,” she continued. “Due to the nature of Survivor, I was viewing the game through a small lens and with a limited scope. I did not have all the information on the subject and I made a game move that was unjust. … This is a life changing learning moment for me.”
— Missy Byrd (@themissybyrd) November 15, 2019
For her part, Lauren, 28, tweeted that she “had my own experiences and feelings” toward Dan, but she spoke with him about his behavior and “it stopped.” She acknowledged that she “did not know the full extent of Kellee’s feelings” and did not intend to use those feelings “to further my game.”
I want to deeply apologize to all women and more specifically Kellee and Janet. While I had my own experiences and feelings towards Dan, I spoke with him and it stopped. While ignorance is not an excuse, after the merge I did not know the full extent of Kellee’s feelings
— Lauren Ashley (@LaurenAshBeck) November 14, 2019
Meanwhile, Aaron, 36, released a tearful, three-and-a-half-minute video on Instagram on Thursday to take responsibility for accusing his castmates of “trying to spin this into something that could potentially affect the life of Dan” during a heated tribal counsel.
“Watching it back, I’m very disappointed in myself and how I conducted myself handling the emotions of this game in this situation,” he said in part. “I’m not looking to make any justifications in my behavior. It was completely unwarranted. I was out of line. I was out of place. I let emotions get the best of me.”
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