Mark Burnett says “maybe that taboo (of race) could disappear through” Survivor Cook Islands

Survivor executive producer Mark Burnett is responding to reaction about the 13th season’s casting. He told the New York Times, “I know it’s going to be controversial. I’m not an idiot.”

He’s a bit more diplomatic with Variety. “Maybe that taboo (of race) could disappear through this,” he said. Perhaps, and if that works, maybe Survivor 14 can cast people from the Middle East and solve all of those centuries-old problems in just 39 days. In just a few more seasons, there will be world peace.

Burnett also said that the show only has one actor, which we know is not true. Sure, there’s only one person who’s identified in their CBS bio as an actor, but that doesn’t mean the others who have extensive acting resumes are not actors, just like saying someone is from Malibu doesn’t change the fact that they live in LA.

Variety also talks to representatives of the NAACP and the Media Action Network for Asian Americans, both of whom are skeptical but say they are waiting to see the first episode before judging the twist.

Newest ‘Survivor’ adds racy twist [Variety]
‘Survivor’ to Divide Teams Along Racial Lines [New York Times]

Survivor San Juan Del Sur's dark cloud is lifted

John Rocker

In its third episode, Survivor San Juan Del Sur improved significantly as John Rocker faced off against an Amazing Race villain. But the Exile Island reward challenge remains a drag on the series.


Why Dick Donato left Big Brother 13

Dick Donato

The Big Brother villain known as "Evel Dick" has finally revealed why he left the show during its 13th season: he learned he was HIV positive.

Also: Dick claims he had no choice but to leave the game.

about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.