"Over the past three weeks, Survivor’s 39th season has leaned into its place in contemporary discourses surrounding race and gender, a conscious campaign to convince us of its capacity to reckon with racial insensitivity and sexual harassment," says Miles McNutt. "But given how these efforts played out in this week’s two-parter, 'We Made It To The Merge!,' the series’ current approach is incapable of reckoning with moments where meaningful dialogues intersect with a game of individual survival where outplaying your fellow castaways outweighs all over priorities. The result is a disastrous reach for a '#MeToo moment' that proves Survivor’s ability to reflect social realities, but in all the wrong ways, and with a truly toxic moral for those watching at home." In Wednesday's episode, Survivor's transparency over its handling of Dan Spilo's inappropriate touching of Kellee Kim is mistaken for accountability, says McNutt. "Why was Dan not warned by production when his inappropriate touching began, and production documented Kellee inventing a germophobia to escape it?" he asks. "Did none of the camera operators who observed his wandering hands in the shelter alert production to what they were seeing? Why was it the responsibility of the players to bring this issue to the attention of producers when there are cameras around recording everything that’s happening?" McNutt adds: "Survivor actually creates an even worse environment than the real world when it comes to allegations of this nature. Survivor takes the neoliberal mantras of personal responsibility that pervade society and presents them as the very nature of our existence. Like many competition reality programs, it balances elements of cooperation with an ethos of individualism, encouraging collaboration but ultimately teaching players that the only way to truly survive (read: win) is to look out for yourself. It’s this very ideology that encourages people to ignore when women (or men) speak out about sexual harassment, because that would mean sticking your neck out for someone else, and taking a moral stand in an environment where such morality is perceived as either a threat, a weakness, or both. And while this exists in workplaces and social groups and even families, Survivor reduces every waking hour of its 39 days to this type of thinking."