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'Survivor' contestant previously accused of inappropriate touching ejected from show

Dan Spilo is the first "Survivor" contestant to be ejected from the show without being voted off.
Dan Spilo on "Survivor."
Dan Spilo on "Survivor."CBS

A "Survivor" contestant who was previously accused by another player of inappropriate touching was removed from the game, viewers learned during Wednesday night's episode.

Dan Spilo became the first contestant to be kicked out of the competition without getting voted off in the CBS show's nearly 40 seasons since its premiere in 2000.

In Wednesday's episode, the last before the "Island of the Idols" finale, show host Jeff Probst approached the remaining contestants on their 36th day in Fiji, saying he had "to share some news."

"So I just spoke privately with Dan, and I want to update you guys. A decision has been made, and Dan will not be returning to the game. He won’t be coming back to camp. He won’t be on the jury. He’s gone," Probst tells the contestants, some of whom are given the chance to briefly react on camera.

"Dan was removed from the game after a report of another incident, which happened off-camera and did not involve a player," a title card said at the end of the episode. No other information was provided, and CBS declined to comment further.

Probst also declined to provide more details in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. "Out of respect for privacy and confidentiality, I can’t say anymore," he said.

"It has been an unprecedented season," Probst said. "Complex social issues were woven into the game in a way we have never seen before."

The removal of Spilo comes after a previous incident last month.

In the episode then, viewers were informed that the producers had met with each contestant and issued Spilo, 49, a warning after a female contestant, Kellee Kim, 30, expressed that she was uncomfortable with Spilo's alleged inappropriate touching.

In that episode in November, two other female contestants express to Kim that they also have felt uneasy around Spilo, but later they admitted on camera that they were either exaggerating or fabricating misconduct allegations in the name of gameplay, which ultimately led to Kim being voted off.

The two other women issued statements after the episode aired apologizing for how they handled the situation, saying that, during filming, they weren't fully aware of the seriousness of Kim's accusations.

Kim, an MBA student, said in a statement Wednesday night that "CBS and Survivor were on notice of Dan’s behavior for the very first days of the game."

"And, as Survivor fans know, shortly after I spoke up on camera, I was voted off the show," Kim wrote. "I’ve continued to feel disappointed by how this pattern of behavior was allowed for so long."

"While I wish many things had gone differently, I’m glad that my decision to speak up made a difference. What is most important to me now is how all of us — CBS, Survivor, other organizations, and all of us as individuals — decide to learn from this story and commit to take action," Kim added.

Following Spilo's removal, many on social media, including some former "Survivor" contestants and TV critics, chided CBS and the show for failing to discipline him sooner and for being vague about the reason he was ultimately taken off the show.

"Predators will continue to prey until they are stopped. This predator could have and should have been stopped long ago, but those in power made a choice not to stop him. Shame on you, Survivor," former contestant Zeke Smith wrote on Twitter.

"The evasiveness of that closing title card on 'Survivor' tonight requires that one have faith in the 'Survivor' producers and their discretion in a way that 'Survivor' proved this season those producers no longer deserve," Hollywood Reporter TV critic Daniel Fienberg tweeted.

Probst told Entertainment Weekly, "We have learned a great deal and it will inform our process and protocols on how to evolve moving forward. While we still want to maintain the competitive aspect of the game, above all, we want to ensure that all players always feel safe and respected."

A woman who answered the phone at a number listed for Spilo told NBC News: "We don’t have any comment.”