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Dan justifies Shirin’s abuse on Survivor by blaming the victim

If you thought the victim-blaming after last week’s Survivor Worlds Apart couldn’t get any worse, here comes cast member Dan Foley, who blames Shirin Oskooi for the abuse she suffered during last week’s episode.

In the Facebook group for the podcast Survivor Talk with D&D, a member of the group whose apostrophe key appears to be broken posted on April 23 saying that Shirin “playig the victim has caused a horrible backlash of social media and real life bullying for Dan and now Im sure Will. Its not cool.”

Survivor Worlds Apart Dan Foley

Survivor Worlds Apart’s Dan Foley (Photo by CBS)

Friday night, Dan Foley commented to agree with the original post, and his response–which is sometimes hard to understand because of its writing and what appear to be typos–ends with his claim that talking about civil rights for women, African-Americans, and gay people is really what’s preventing equality.

Here’s Dan’s comment, which has been circulating as an image but which I have verified was posted by his Facebook account:

Wow I jumped in on this conversation late! Mirlam, you can’t imagine how strongly you “hit the nail on the head”. EVERY SINGLE PERSON major derogatory comments about Shirin. What’s the common denominator? Shirin! She was actually referring to well as a, pardon my language, a fat f’ing piece of s@#&. I certainly consider that a personal attack. were Will’s comments over the top? Maybe but after the game was over he apologized to her but have you seen any mention of this? No! She continues to milk the situation because she enjoys the attention of the victim. it is deplorable and reprehensible! it devalues anyone, man or woman, who is being truly victimized because now they will be dismissed as a whining crybaby. As long as we continue to talk about women’s rights, homosexual rights, African American rights etc. There will never truly be equality in this country. we should be referring to people’s rights or human

Shortly after, he commented:

If nothing else, I am honest. just because you don’t like the facts doesn’t change the facts!

It’s incredible how hard Dan and some others are working to justify and rationalize an extended, vicious personal attack–one that was later repeated at Tribal Council! Those rationalizations include fictionalized, made-up stories about what Shirin must have said or done to cause this, and since the editing made her unlikable at the start some viewers have all the evidence they need to create a narrative.

That said, Dan’s attempt at justification here is almost unbelievable because he argues that since everyone did it, it was okay and she deserved it.

Ultimately, it doesn’t matter what happened. A misguided, paranoid accusation doesn’t make the abuse we saw justifiable, and apparently there was even more. Even if there was an equivalent personal attack–and there’s no way the editors would cut that out–that doesn’t make it suddenly okay to do the same. No kind of provocation justifies a torrent of verbal abuse, none.

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