TIME’S UP Praises CBS’s ‘Survivor’ for Admitting Mistakes, Committing to Change

CBS, Changing Companies, Changing Culture, Corporate Policy, Safety, TIME'S UP Entertainment, Tina Tchen

“Survivor” has been under fire in recent weeks for its handling of contestant Kellee Kim’s claims of inappropriate behavior by fellow castmate, Dan Spilo. “Survivor” has since removed the alleged perpetrator from the show, is taking steps to prevent this from happening again, and, in a one-on-one interview with Kim tonight, has given her a platform to share her story.

Tina Tchen, president and CEO of TIME’S UP Foundation, released the following statement about the season finale of “Survivor”:

“Tonight, millions of viewers witnessed an unprecedented cultural moment in television history: “Survivor” host Jeff Probst publicly acknowledged that the show failed Kellee Kim when she came forward to say she had been sexually harassed and “Survivor” did not take appropriate action. In doing so, “Survivor” used its cultural influence to take responsibility and have an honest and direct dialogue about a serious, systemic problem that has been ignored for far too long.

“Sadly, what happened to Kellee on “Survivor” this season is the same sort of painful scenario that plays out every day across industries and occupations, and up and down the wage scale: someone is treated inappropriately in a working environment and is concerned they will be retaliated against for raising the issue with management — only to have those exact fears come to pass.

“But tonight, in an emotional and raw interview, “Survivor” did the right thing and gave Kellee a platform to share her truth. What’s more, Probst began the conversation with three powerful words: ‘You were right.’ And Kellee was right: Because whether you are on a reality show, in an office, or on the factory floor, every person deserves to feel safe from harassment, assault, and abuse at work, no exceptions.

“Culture in any workplace starts at the top. It is powerful to see Probst take ownership of this issue, and it is also really powerful to see CBS’s “Survivor” acknowledge its mistakes and commit to beginning the hard work necessary to take sexual harassment out of the game and ensure contestants and crew alike feel safe and respected at all times moving forward.”


TIME’S UP™ Now is the nonpartisan and not-for-profit advocacy arm of TIME’S UP. We advocate for safe, fair, and dignified work for all in the public and private sectors, calling for an end to harassment and other related forms of discrimination on the job. And we fight to rebuild the systems that have taken away women’s power for far too long. TIME’S UP Now is a 501(c)(4) social welfare organization.