For the debut of Survivor Cook Islands, the St. Petersburg Times’ Eric Deggans convened a diverse panel of reality TV alumni, and perhaps not unsurprisingly, it was Apprentice star Omarosa Manigault Stallworth who had the strongest words about the show.
She wrote that it was a “bogus social experiment that the puppet master Mark Burnett is conducting. The bottom line is that Mark Burnett is playing the race card, with no consideration to the long-lasting social implications of this show.”
Bachelor 6 selectee Mary Delgado disagreed, saying, “The race separation didn’t bother me. What Burnett seems to be trying to do is see if the teams will fight amongst each other … and that’s already happening.”
Meanwhile, LA Weekly’s Robert Abele says that this new season this new season is further evidence that “the producers stack the deck in their portrayals of African-American men. The ones they pick inevitably seem to come across as work-avoiding and/or obnoxious, chauvinist complainers, and the new season is no exception. While the white, Asian and Latino tribes were all shown to be mostly cohesive go-getters, the casting directors chose for the African-American tribe an overweight blowhard who initially played leader but was ultimately chastised by his three female teammates for taking breaks, and who — when given the opportunity to send anyone from the other tribes to Exile Island — consulted the only other guy on the team to make the decision, ignoring the women.” Of course, those women quickly voted him off.