Survivor Braces for Racial Controversy

by : Gary Mitchell




For its 13th season the original reality TV show Survivor is returning to the South Pacific. Survivor Cook Islands will be played in the Aitutaki Islands, an atoll in the island formation originally discovered by Captain Cook. The clear blue waters and beautiful beaches will provide a tranquil setting for a season that’s going to be anything but peaceful.

Over the years one of the most common criticisms of the show has been that there has not been a racially diverse cast. To address that claim Mark Burnett and Survivor Entertainment Group (SEG) selected 20 contestants, 5 Asian Americans, 5 African Americans, 5 Hispanic Americans, and 5 Caucasian Americans. However in an unprecedented act they accentuated the role of race by dividing the teams along racial lines. The move caused disapproval, criticism and a lot of controversy with the media and minority organizations. Many feel the move was done to give a boost to ratings which have been slowly declining in recent years. Those involved with the show say it was similar to dividing the teams by sex or age which had been done in the past. Whatever the reason if the pre-season buzz is indication the show is going to receive a lot of press.

Looking at the past seasons the most popular seasons were those with a lot of conflict and a strong or charismatic character. Filming for al of the episodes but the season finale was completed before the first episode airs, so the network has very few options. Survivor Cook Islands the 13th season of Survivor premiers on September 13th at 8pm EST.

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