- During the “Survivor: Fiji” premiere, Jeff Probst said he was done saying “Come on in, guys.”
- He asked players how they felt about the gendered phrase, but no one spoke up until day three.
- Player Ricard Foyé expressed his concerns and Probst “fully agrees” about nixing the phrase.
“Survivor” host Jeff Probst kicked off its season 41 on Wednesday by nixing one of his most-used phrases.
The host, who has been saying, “Come on in, guys,” for 20 years asked players how they felt about the gendered phrase and eventually “agreed” it was time to retire it.
Probst started the episode by asking players how they felt about him continuing to use a gendered phrase
On day one, Probst asked players if they felt OK with him continuing to use the phrase, “Come on in, guys,” which he’s used to welcome players to challenges in just about every episode.
“I love saying it, it’s part of the show, but I, too, want to be part of the moment,” Probst said. He told players to decide if the word “guys” was OK “in the context of ‘Survivor.'”
Multiple players, including PhD student Evvie Jagoda, said they were fine with him using it.
“I, as a woman, as a queer woman, do not feel excluded by ‘guys,'” Jagoda said, adding it’s “a signature expression.”
Probst asked if anyone disagreed and was met with silence.
On day 3, one player spoke against the phrase and Probst fully agreed it was time to change it
Shantel Smith, Genie Chen, Brad Reese, Jairus Robinson, Ricard Foyé, and Sara Wilson on “Survivor: Fiji” episode one.
Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images
Before the first immunity challenge began, player Ricard Foyé, a 31-year-old flight attendant, told Probst that he’d been thinking about Probst’s initial question.
Foyé, who shared his story about leaving behind his pregnant transgender husband and baby girl earlier in the episode, said he didn’t have the “capacity” to really focus on the question earlier. He added he “fully agrees” with changing the word “guys” to be more inclusive.
“The reality is that ‘Survivor’ has changed over the last 21 years, and those changes have allowed all of us — all of these brown people, Black people, Asian people, so many queer people — to be here simultaneously,” Foyé added.
Probst said that he agreed and “loved” that Foyé gave more thought to the question and had the “courage” to voice his opinion.
“I want to change it,” Probst said. “I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it.”
Probst also challenged people watching at home saying, “Aw, he caved,” to tweet at him, adding, “I’ll probably never read it anyway.”
This is one of the most inclusive ‘Survivor’ casts yet
In 2020, CBS announced a diversity pledge, stating that its future reality-show casts “will contain at least 50% Black, indigenous, and people of color,” per Entertainment Weekly.
The timing of this pledge meant that these changes would be seen within the 2021 to 2022 seasons of major CBS reality staples like such as “Survivor,” “Big Brother,” and “Love Island.”
Previous “Survivor” contestants have spoken out about the lack of diversity in the show for years. According to EW, former contestants formed the Black Survivor Alliance group and also met with Probst and other CBS executives to discuss making the show more inclusive.
The “Survivor: Fiji” cast also includes three openly queer players.
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