The US version of the pioneer reality show Survivor has recently launched its 41st season.
After 40 seasons the show is shaking things up with diversity and inclusion at the forefront of its priorities.
But one major change has the internet talking as host Jeff Probst scraps the use of the word “guys.”
Come on in guys! A Survivor catchphrase
For 20 years Survivor host, Jeff Probst has been known for several iconic catchphrases.
“The tribe has spoken” quickly become known worldwide as contestants are sent packing.
However, fans of the show have long grown to know the phrase “Come on in guys.”
Shouted enthusiastically at contestants as they enter a challenge.
But this year for season 41 Probest announced that he wanted to be “of the moment.”
Acknowledging that Survivor and the world is changing socially he asked the contestants.
“In the context of Survivor is a word like guys ok? Or, is it time to retire that word?”
Initially, the contestants agreed to keep it. Eevie was the first to speak up.
“I as a queer woman do not feel excluded by guys.” She said to Probst who resolved to keep the phrase.
However, with time and reflection, another contestant came forward.
At the following challenge contestant Ricard spoke up.
“I don’t agree that we should use the word guys. I fully agree that we should change it” he said.
“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.”
With that Probst announced that he was “glad that will be the last time I will ever say it.”
The decision however has fans divided on the internet.
I’ve been watching #Survivor since season 1. The decision to make an issue over #ComeOnInGuys is stupid. In that sense “guys” is gender neutral and no offense is meant by it. @JeffProbst needless pandering like this is a mistake.
— Middle Man (@LiesTbe) October 6, 2021
— The Things I Wish I Could Say (@filterdump) October 9, 2021
Sadly many people online targeted their opinions toward Ricard who was forced to speak up.
This narrative that being compassionate to people who feel “othered” by a word (after being asked if the SHOW should be inclusive, not the cast being banned from certain words) then requires me to censor everyone around me is wild. Watch us play the game or don’t. https://t.co/iKHfQsywGZ
— Ricard Foyé (@RicardFoye) October 7, 2021
A new Era for Survivor
Love it or hate it Survivor has made its fair share of headlines over the last twenty years.
Richard Hatch made headlines on season one as the large, naked gay man who ultimately took out the title of first sole survivor.
In later years headlines became less than favorable.
One season attempted to address issues of diversity and representation by splitting contestants into four tribes based on race.
In more recent years the program again stirred up controversy when a trans contestant was outed on the program.
Pressure has mounted on the show over the years to implement more diverse casting.
Most seasons feature a small handful of non-white contestants.
LGBTIQA+ players tend to only be represented by 1 or 2 contestants on the program.
After a recent campaign by former players, CBS recently announced a pledge to ensure that fifty percent of the show’s contestants will be people of colour. A move that was celebrated by many in the community.
“The reality TV genre is an area that’s especially underrepresented, and needs to be more inclusive across development, casting, production and all phases of storytelling.” Explained President and CEO for CBS Entertainment Group George Cheeks.
A refreshing a diverse cast for Survivor 41
Naturally, all eyes were on the cast for season 41 to see if the program would deliver on their promise.
Not only has the program delivered a fresh new cast that is diverse in race and ethnicity, but the inclusion of queer contestants is also prominent.
Episode one of the program introduced Eevie, Genie, and Ricard.
Eevie describes herself as a proud queer woman and Genie tells her beautiful story of her twenty-year marriage to her wife.
Meanwhile, Ricards touching story of his family with his husband, a trans man, pregnant with their second child melted viewers’ hearts.
It’s a refreshing change for the program and for reality TV casting as a whole.
Hopefully, a change that will see long-term effects for television casting in the future.
Watch the interaction and decision about “Come On in Guys” below.
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