For the first time, CBS pre-taped the usually live Survivor reunion show hours before Wednesday's Island of the Idols finale, prompting speculation that the network wanted to censor some of the conversation around the Dan Spilo inappropriate touching controversy. Late last week, Kellee Kim's attorney, Debra Katz, expressed concerns with CBS about attending the reunion special. “Kellee was concerned that she was not going to be able to speak at the finale,” Katz told The New York Times. “And if she was allowed to speak, that it would be too scripted and she would not be able to say the things that were important for her to say.” In an email to CBS, Katz wrote: "Let me be clear at the onset: Ms. Kim does not seek compensation. Her motivation in retaining counsel is to begin a productive dialogue about changes production and CBS must make in future seasons of the show.” Shortly after Katz's email, CBS informed Kim that she would be able to speak freely. A CBS spokesperson told The Times: “There was never any doubt in our mind that she would be part of it and be able to speak freely about her experience," adding that her discussion with Jeff Probst would be “broadcast unedited.” During the reunion, Probst apologized to Kim. “You were right,” he told her. “You were right. You were right to speak up. You were right to step forward despite a lot of risks. And to speak your truth. And I want to acknowledge and apologize for your pain. You didn’t ask for it, you didn’t deserve it.” Probst also talked about how “it was a very complex unprecedented situation for us,” while also acknowledging that “in the months that have passed, we’ve learned so much about what we could have and should have done instead. And if this happened today, we would handle it much differently.” Kim responded: “We can’t really go back and change what happened to me and what happened to other people. I think the most important thing when I think about this situation and what have you is that I hope that this season of Survivor isn’t just defined by inappropriate touching or sexual harassment. I hope that is defined by change. I feel like I can be really proud of the fact that I spoke up and asked for those changes, and CBS and Survivor are making those changes because I asked. I have to fundamentally believe at the end of the day that individuals and institutions are capable of change."
TOPICS: Kellee Kim, CBS, Survivor, Dan Spilo, Jeff Probst, Reality TV, Sexual Misconduct