“One thing is clear, is that he loves it,” Mr. Probst’s friend, director Tyler Perry, wrote in an email. “Look at him setting there in the rain at the tribal council. She’s not a diva. It’s the love of the game.
Authenticity, which “Survivor” fans have come to know, means warts and everything. This means that the show cannot, as directed by Mr. Probst, change the intention of someone’s words during editing. It meant watching one contestant ask another to remove their false teeth at a tribal council as revenge for a blindness. It even meant watching a gay contestant come out of a trans tribe, equating his choice not to disclose his transsexuality a cheating.
The authenticity has also put Mr. Probst on purpose in the sights of the show’s opinionated fan base. “I’m not always perfect on the show,” Mr. Probst said. “I said things that I regret now, I had views that I would change now. It was also me in the moment, being vulnerable and learning. “
Last season, one candidate, Sarah Lacina, gave a tribal council speech on gender bias: Candidates, she said, felt prevented from playing the same kind of game as men. In response, Mr Probst pointed out his own bias in calling men, but not women, by their last name – a habit he attributed to “playing sports where all the other boys called them by their last name. last name because that’s what all of your favorite athletes are doing. “
“I never lost that part of me,” Mr. Probst said. “These are moments that enlighten me. When you realize it’s true and it’s something you can change, in doing so, you’re also showing the other guys, “You might also want to check it out yourself. “
In 2019, the show had a #MeToo moment when a contestant accused a male teammate of unwanted touching. The show saved it a few more episodes after a warning and production meetings with the cast, ultimately allowing players to figure out how best to resolve a situation. (He was then taken off-camera from the game after an undisclosed incident with a member of the show’s production team.) Fans and critics alike expressed disappointment with how the show and Mr. Probst performed. handled the moment, with James Poniewozik of the New York Times. calling it “inept, shameful and evasive”.