Richard Hatch says he was replaced by Rob Mariano on Survivor Redemption Island

Survivor winner Richard Hatch would have been cast on Survivor Redemption Island instead of its eventual winner, Rob Mariano, but Hatch was not permitted to participate by a court, he said upon being released from prison again today. We previously knew that he was offered Heroes vs. Villains but a judge said no.

“Boston Rob took my place and won the million dollars, which I would have done, in this last Survivor show,” Richard told the Rhode Island NBC affiliate, with his characteristic cockiness–though he’s probably right, since we’ve now had two seasons in a row of returning players march to the end unimpeded. He said the judge and prosecutors were “hypocritically preventing me from huge opportunities” including “by blocking my participation in Survivor.”

In the interview, which you can watch below, Hatch also said, “I have a really interesting show idea and I think I have a deal already.” He didn’t give any details. Richard was released having served nine months for violating his probation, which included not filing and paying taxes, which he insists he couldn’t do.

As to his recent incarceration and tribulations, he said, “The public has had the opportunity to believe lots that isn’t true,” and also said, “the system is broken and it fails people all the time, and I’m just one example.” Richard also told a reporter, “always leaving feels good, since now I can say I’ve done that a couple of times. It’s a tragedy. This is nothing more than institutionalized bullying in Rhode Island, and it’s sad. And I’ve proclaimed my innocence from day one.”

Whatever you think of his arguments (which actually make sense), it seems very absurd how he’s spent a lot of time in prison and, say, no companies or individuals have even been prosecuted for their part in the financial meltdown and abuses that led up to it.

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.