Past Castaways Defend ‘Inclusive’ New ‘Survivor’

Erika Casupanan, Sydney Segal, Danny McCray and Naseer Muttalif on 'Survivor 41'

CBS Erika Casupanan, Sydney Segal, Danny McCray and Naseer Muttalif on 'Survivor 41'

During the “Survivor 41” premiere on Sept. 22, host Jeff Probst and the cast did away with the use of the word “guys” in Probst’s signature phrase “come on in, guys.” A lot of fans took umbrage with the move, but several past “Survivor” players think it’s great.

Winner Wendell Holland Thinks Being More Inclusive Is Great

In a series of tweets a few days after the “Survivor” premiere, “Ghost Island” winner Wendell Holland said that he personally thinks being more inclusive is a good thing.

“To all the people calling ‘Survivor 41’ ‘woke “Survivor”’ because they are intentionally using more inclusive language and casting more diverse castaways- who hurt you? Why is it always ‘sooo horrible’ whenever more people are invited to have a seat at the table?” wrote Holland on Twitter.

A follower of Holland’s responded by saying that he has seen “many trans women & femmes say they appreciate him speaking up because ‘guys’ is a trigger to them and they feel hopeful with the word being removed from ‘Survivor.'”

Holland responded to that tweet by saying, “This is it. More inclusive. They appreciate it, so I appreciate it. It doesn’t hurt anyone, it INCLUDES more people. I love it, and I’m here for it.”

One Alum Questioned If ‘Guys’ Is Even Offensive

Two-time castaway Peih-Gee Law said that to her, it felt a bit like “woke theater” because she’s not sure anyone was “ever offended at ‘Come on in, guys,'” to which fellow castaway Julia Carter responded, “They way I see it .. the question isn’t ‘Has anyone ever been offended or spoken out about this?’ but rather ‘Are there any other ways in which we can be more inclusive and allow castaways the opportunity to voice concern & feel more comfortable in their experience?'”

Carter continued by saying, “I love that Jeff asked about a seemingly harmless phrase that has been the ‘Survivor’ status quo because it is often nuances such as those that go by unchecked in life. Whether it’s woke theatre, ehhh that’s a hair I won’t split at this time because progress is progress. … Look at the representation this season. The show realizes they have had blind spots in the past, and I took it as a moment to ask ‘What else can we do? How do you all feel about this?’ That NEVER would have happened seasons ago. For that, I applaud it.”

Law later added to her own tweet, “I guess I’m happy there’s conversation around these phrases we use that subconsciously has an effect on society? … it was good to have dialogue about it. Like, I never really thought about it being offensive, but now there’s a lot of conversation about it and people are thinking. So it’s good in that sense.”

Alum Eliza Orlins started a Twitter thread where she said that the outrage over this whole issue illustrates the point.

“The outrage I’ve seen today over Jeff no longer using the word “guys” when he says come on in on #Survivor is exactly WHY we should be eliminating the word when we mean people. … To all of that to say, thank you @RicardFoye for speaking up. Thank you @JeffProbst for listening,” wrote Orlins.

There was one high-profile “Survivor” player who was vocal about hating the whole “guys” issue — Russell Hantz said after the premiere that he would not be covering “Survivor” this season and he would rather not watch than put up with the “woke s***.”

“Survivor” airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific times on CBS. The 42nd season will air in the spring of 2022. Seasons 43 and 44 are casting now, so if you’ve always wanted to apply, now is your chance!

READ NEXT: ‘Survivor’ Castaways & Fans Slam Jeff Probst’s ‘Woke’ New Show

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