‘Survivor 39’ Aaron Meredith Tearfully Apologized for Negating Sexual Assault Claim During Tribal Council
In one of the most intense Tribal Councils ever, the competitors had to discuss a sexual assault claim against talent manager Dan Spilo when the claims turned into strategic game moves.
Janet Carbin, caught in the crossfire, was visibly upset after some of the women used her moral code against her and then isolated her. When Carbin tried to explain her feelings during Tribal Council, Aaron Meredith cut her off.
The gym owner claimed she was “assuming the victim role” while insisting the allegation wasn’t “a real concern” because he didn’t know about it. His words upset Survivor 39: Island of the Idols viewers, so he gave a tearful apology explaining how sorry and “disappointed” he was in his behavior.
Kellee Kim accused Dan Spilo of inappropriate touching
During the first episode, Kellee Kim asked fellow Vokai competitor Dan Spilo to stop touching her. However, he continued to attempt to give her massages, without asking and would try to touch her face or hair.
The situation bothered Kim, and she wanted to know if anyone else had a problem with him, so she opened up to Missy Byrd about it after the merge. Byrd admitted Spilo made her feel uncomfortable as well.
Therefore, the veteran planned on voting Spilo out until Lauren Beck told Byrd that Kim wanted to eliminate her. Confused and hurt because Byrd assumed Kim used the Spilo experience against her, she put together a controversial plan in motion to send the MBA student to Jury.
Byrd told her closest ally, Elizabeth Beisel, to explain to Janet Carbin that Spilo also made her uncomfortable. After hearing the same thing from several women, the chief lifeguard felt like she had to take action, and voted out one of her closest allies.
However, Byrd, Beisel, and the rest of their alliance voted with Spilo and voted Kim off the island. Upset, Carbin confronted Byrd and Beisel, and, after some back and forth, they finally admitted they lied.
Aaron Meredith negated the sexual assault claim during Tribal Council
The contestants competed in another immunity challenge, and Aaron Meredith won his second immunity necklace. Feeling protected, he decided to give his opinion about why Carbin was upset during Tribal Council.
Meredith claimed Carbin was frustrated because her “Survivor play went wrong.” When the chief lifeguard attempted to explain the situation further, Meredith cut her off and insisted he “knows a lot about it.”
The gym owner continued, and said she’s “assuming the victim role,” “not taking responsibility” and “is trying to spin this into something that could potentially affect Dan’s life.”
Meredith then questioned the validity of the sexual assault claims because he and a few other men didn’t know about it. Shipman interrupted and explained that what Meredith is describing happens in the real world; when a woman accuses a man of something, and it’s immediately shot down because men weren’t privy to it.
Meredith tried to say he knows about “the issue” because he works with women, has two sisters, and a mother. After the episode aired, the gym owner received a lot of backlash for what he said during the Tribal Council.
‘Survivor 39’ contestant Aaron Meredith apologized
In a three minute video on Instagram, Meredith apologized for his “behavior at Tribal Council.” He went on to explain that he’s “disappointed” in himself, was “out of line,” and admitted he let his “emotions get the best of” him.
Meredith said he takes responsibility for his words and apologized to his castmates as well as survivors of sexual assault. In the middle of his apology video, the gym owner broke down crying.
He explained it’s not representative of who he is, and he understands why his words could have been triggering for some people. Kim quote tweeted the video on Twitter, praised his authenticity, and noted she accepted his apology.
Watch Survivor 39: Island of the Idols Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.