“Survivor,” Too much drama?

Rod Allday [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Rod Allday [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Suzanne Coleman, MD

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday again!  Last week’s episode of “Survivor” had tongues wagging about what Will did to Shirin.  It was pretty clear that he was WAY out of line.  I think everybody pretty much agreed on that!  The thing is, why didn’t he see it?

I’m sure you all probably saw what happened.  Somebody told Will that other people in the tribe thought he was lying about sharing all of his secret food reward stash with the group.  I think it was Rodney, wasn’t it, who first started saying this about Will behind his back and trying to get everybody else to believe him?  But Rodney’s name never came up…

So somebody tells Will about these conversations and he gets it in his head that it was Shirin that was targeting him, calling him a liar.  I think that he did that because he sees her as an easy abuse target, probably because for whatever reason people haven’t really clicked with her in the game, so he thinks he can attack her and no one will come to stand beside her.  Therefore, Will can just let her have it, and get away with it.  Well, he was right. He started yelling at her, expressing his anger at being called a liar (he wasn’t lying, so that I get), but then he morphed into evil abuser Will and wouldn’t shut up.  He pulled apart her soul, attacking her entire life and her emotional weaknesses.  The poor woman has had a difficult life, she doesn’t need this ass to bully her over it. But he wouldn’t stop, and no one there, not one person, did a thing to intervene.  It was almost like it was a play, and those were their roles, to sit dumbly by, and let him crush her with his emotionally abusive behavior.  It was sick.

Finally Mike came back to camp and pulled her out of there while she was still sitting there in total shock that Will was being so evil.  Then, when they were away from the others, we all saw how it affected her.

I, good person that I am, was thinking that when Will opened up his mouth at the challenge after that, that he was surely going to apologize for his terrible behavior.  But no, that isn’t what happened.  Not at all.

What happened next was that Will showed that he truly is an abuser.  He believed that his verbal and emotional abuse of this other person was a normal way to behave. This tells me that he likely grew up in an environment where this was their “normal.”  People, let me tell you, this is NOT normal.  If you can’t deal with your frustrations with other people in a constructive and respectful way, then you need to walk away.  And if after you cool off you still can’t do it the right way, then you need to get some help. Counseling is a great way to truly improve your health and well-being and to make you a better person to those around you.  And if you have issues like Will, you need to take this step to learn what behaviors are healthy and what behaviors are not healthy. Abusing others is never acceptable.  There is no excuse for that behavior, period.  Counseling can show you how to repair the damages that life has done to the way that you see the world and interact with it, helping you to be a better person for yourself and for those around you.

After last week’s abusive incident, some people on facebook were questioning why the producers of “Survivor” allowed it to happen.  That is a great question.  I would bet that it’s because it is “Survivor.”  Survival of the fittest, a true challenge of one’s humanity, strength, and resilience.

I think that when Shirin finally spoke out against Will, her abuser, she regained her strength.  Even if no one else had stood up for her, she needed to stand up for herself, and she finally did that, arm raised high and all.  Good for you girl, I am behind you, I think we all are on this one.  Just look around.


  1. Totally agree with you. It sad that it was even allowed to happen Will needs serious counseling . He brags about being a Christian I think the people who he goes to church with need to step up and say something to him when he gets back but what I think is really sad is that No one other than Mike stood up for her. all this anti bully talk lately and the whole “cbs cares” thing if that was true Jeff should have said something at counsel . Will totally overstepped its one thing to be mad but if that was it why did he not also go after Mike and Jen?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Why did the producers allow this to happen? Because it did happen. Why should we expect them to intervene and damage the integrity of the game unless Will is threatening violence. One of the only rules in Survivor is no physical violence can occur. A few seasons back a confused and damaged kid named Brandon threatened his tribe with violence. The producers “intervened” by having an impromptu tribal council so his tribe could vote him off.

    Plus by “allowing” this to happen a lot of good things came out of it. If you follow Shirin after the show she speaks about how much it meant to her that Mike stood up for her and protected her. She had never had a man in her life step in and put a stop to abuse. And now she is donating $100 for every act of misogyny that happens this season on Survivor. She is actively working to bring awareness to this issue and she is using her experiences on the show to jumpstart it. She has a platform and she is using it. And she also thanked CBS and the producers for not sweeping this issue under the rug. Because it needs to be talked about.

    The producers aren’t to blame. Neither is Jeff Probst (who did call out Dan and Will at tribal council by the way, evening putting Dan down for comparing adoption to abuse and trying to force Will to apologize). The person to blame is the bully, the attacker. Will did something truly wrong and he is to blame.

    So it might have been ugly and hard to watch. But it was worth it. It was a life changing moment for Shirin and she is taking full advantage of it to do good. If you really want you can check out my full thoughts on it when I reviewed the episode.

    Or you could help support Shirin by donating or if you use twitter use #RaiseYourHand

    Donations: https://salsa3.salsalabs.com/o/51013/donate_page/nnedvdonate

    Shirin’s tweet about donating: https://twitter.com/theshirin/status/591318602852208640


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