‘Survivor’ Issues Rare Statement To Viewers, Asks Them to “Please Consider Embracing Kindness”

TV

Survivor just wrapped its 46th season but it still has the capacity to whip up viewers — too much, apparently.

On Thursday, the show posted a rare behave! message to its 583,000-plus followers on Instagram, asking them to remember that these are “real people” playing the game, not paid actors.

“One of the best things about the Survivor community is the passion, engagement and excitement around the show, gameplay and those brave enough to compete. So, a reminder as we watch and discuss the entertaining competition, epic blindsides and emotional journeys these players go on, remember that who you see on screen are real people navigating this experience. Please consider embracing kindness, respect and compassion before commenting.”

While CBS wouldn’t comment on why it was necessary to release a statement, it could have been triggered, in part, by the online backlash over Maria Gonzalez, who ended up voting for Kenzie Petty instead of her close ally Charlie Davis. Petty went on to win Survivor 46.

“I was really shocked,” Davis told EW. “I mean, I said it I think in the after-show. I haven’t watched the after-show in full yet, and I think they showed it very barely on the show, but it was very stark. One of the very last things she said to me before getting voted out was, “Get to the final three. You’ve got my vote.” So I don’t know what more I can do. It feels to me almost like it’s like a perfect control experiment. Obviously, I have to perform at final Tribal, that’s always on me. But in terms of thinking I had someone’s vote going in, yeah, I really did think I had Maria’s vote 1000%.”

Even Petty was surprised that Gonzalez voted for her. “I literally said, ‘There’s no way I am getting Maria, so that’s out,’” she told EW. “I was like, maybe I’ll get seven, but there’s no way I am getting Maria. When I figured out she had voted for me, I was very shocked, but I really did work hard at connecting with everyone as hard as I could, especially post merge. I’m just a people person and I wanted to build bridges with everybody. And so I did spend a lot of time getting to know Maria. Obviously not as much as Charlie, but at the end of the day, you never know what people are going to vote for or what speaks to them. So I think my strategy was just to be authentically myself and hope that that showed through to the jury.”

One source close to Survivor said it wasn’t just Gonzalez who triggered such ire (like this thread on Reddit under the header “I’m surprised about the amount of hate toward Maria.”). Apparently, there were “unfriendly” posts toward several players and certain elements of the game.  

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