Military coup in Fiji has only “minimal” effect on Survivor production

Yesterday’s military coup in Fiji hasn’t significantly impacted production of Survivor Fiji.

E! reports that the show “is being filmed on Vanua Levu, Fiji’s second-largest island and a 30-minute flight away from Viti Levu,” where “soldiers bloodlessly took control of police headquarters … claiming that the Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase’s government is corrupt. … The U.S. State Department then temporarily suspended aid to the country after condemning the military’s actions.”

Jeff Probst sent an e.mail message to Entertainment Weekly and said all was well with the show:

“To be shooting Survivor while the host country is in the midst of a coup is a bit surreal for all of us here in Fiji. We have set up our satellite TV in the catering area [for producers and crew members only] and during dinner the entire crew watches the local news to get updates on what is happening. … Fortunately, we are on another island that is a 30-minute flight away from the capital city of Suva where the coup is centered. Everyone here is safe and the disruptions thus far have been minimal. We had a few production staff stationed in Suva that we brought back to base camp, and during the past week any crew members that were scheduled to fly to location were unable to due to flight cancellations. Otherwise, we have continued filming without interruption.”

Today is day 37, if reports that production began on Oct. 30 are correct, so there are just two days to go before the final Tribal Council.

Survivor Lives Through Fiji Coup [E! Online]
Update: Jeff Probst writes from the ‘Survivor’ set amid the Fiji coup [Entertainment Weekly PopWatch]
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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, 37, 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.