In a recent interview, a castaway from Survivor: Guatemala revealed a rather terrifying piece of information — the threat of crocodiles was so real that production stopped the game to talk some sense into the cast about how cavalier they were being with their safety. Here is what Brooke Struck recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly about the whole thing.
Struck Said They Filmed Production Talking to Them But It Wasn’t For TV
Fans of Survivor know that viewers rarely see anyone on screen who isn’t Jeff Probst, the cast, the medical team, or locals who are involved in a reward of some kind. Camera operators and production assistants are never seen on camera. So when the show filmed production talking to the cast of Survivor: Guatemala about the threat of crocodiles, Struck, a lawyer, knew it wasn’t for television.
Struck recounted for Entertainment Weekly about how they had been warned about the all-too-real threat of being attacked by a crocodile but some cast members were ignoring the warnings.
“I remember sitting on our dock with Cindy [Hall] watching people canoe out and jump into the lake. She said how foolish that was because crocodiles just wait under the surface when it’s hot. I was like, ‘I’m listening to the zookeeper on this one!'” said Struck.
Then a short time later, production came to camp and stopped the game in order to have a crocodile expert talk to them. The expert told them that the crocodiles were watching their habits around camp like they were stalking prey and advised them not to try to outrun a crocodile — and the whole time, the cameras were rolling.
“The funny thing, too, is that having my law degree, I was keenly aware that they were filming this expert talking to us. They did this in the event we ignored the advice and got killed by a crocodile; Survivor could defend against any wrongful death lawsuit by showing we’d been fully warned of the danger and chose to ignore it!” said Struck.
She’s not wrong. Thankfully, there haven’t been any deaths on U.S. Survivor, but the international versions haven’t been so lucky.
Three International Contestants Have Died
Over the years, there have been three contestants on international versions of the show who have died while filming, and investigations were launched in two of the three cases, so the “Guatemala” crew was probably just trying to cover its bases in regards to the potential crocodile attacks.
In 2009, a Bulgarian Survivor contestant collapsed and died after having a heart attack while filming.
Also in 2009, a 32-year-old contestant on the Pakistani version of the show drowned while participating in a swimming challenge. An investigation was launched to determine if it was accidental or due to negligence on the show’s part; according to The National News, accounts of the incident differ as to whether there were lifejackets or divers on standby.
And in 2013, a 25-year-old contestant on the French version of Survivor died from having a heart attack while filming. Following his death, there were accusations of the show having delayed getting him treatment so as not to disrupt filming. The physician who treated the contestant later died by suicide in the wake of the accusations.