Since Survivor premiered in the U.S. in May 2000, the reality competition has continued to be a great success for CBS. However, there have been plenty of controversies on the show along the way.
The uproar started from the get-go, when Richard Hatch walked around camp fully naked throughout much of the first season, Survivor: Borneo. However, he still went on to win the grand prize.
Various scandals followed as the years went on, but perhaps the biggest came in 2017 during season 34, Survivor: Game Changers, when Jeff Varner outed Zeke Smith as transgender during tribal council. Two years later, controversy struck again when Dan Spilo became the first castaway in the show’s history to be ejected from the game after he allegedly behaved inappropriately with his female costars.
“It has been an unprecedented season,” host Jeff Probst later told Entertainment Weekly. “Complex social issues were woven into the game in a way we have never seen before. With our contestants’ welfare at the forefront, we have spent a lot of time discussing every layer of the situation with human resources, diversity and inclusion representatives, show therapists, lawyers, publicists, and standards and practices. We all worked diligently throughout the entire process to make the right decisions and portray an accurate depiction of what took place. We have learned a lot and it will inform our process moving forward.”
Scroll down to revisit some of the most talked-about Survivor controversies ever.