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Because many Survivor fans perceive Ben Driebergen as someone who only won due to advantages, they started sending him hate online. The hate only continued into Survivor 40: Winners at War as several fans feel as though he doesn’t deserve to be on an all-winners season.

While the veteran has ignored the majority of the hate, several of his Winners at War co-stars have stood up to the online haters on his behalf.

Ben Driebergen
Ben Driebergen | Timothy Kuratek

Ben Driebergen won Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers

In the 35th season of Survivor, veteran Ben Driebergen started in the majority on the Heroes tribe. After a tribe switch swapped him to the bottom, a streak of immunity challenges wins saved him until the merge.

At the first Tribal Council, after the tribes merged, the veteran became the swing vote, putting him in a position of power. However, his controlling behavior alienated them, and they flipped on him.

Driebergen then made it to the Final Tribal Council by finding and playing three Hidden Immunity Idols wins in a row. Even though he lost the last immunity challenge before the Final Tribal Council, an unprecedented twist allowed him to compete against a competitor for the final seat in a fire-making challenge.

The veteran won, and his underdog story and impressive idol finds earned him the title of Sole Survivor in a 5-2 vote.

Ben Driebergen has received hate for his win as well as behavior on ‘Survivor 40’

The veteran won over Chrissy Hofbeck, who was an outsider in her tribe from the first day but made several strategic moves to last throughout the game.

Additionally, she tied the record for most wins by a female player as she won four Individual Immunity challenges. Therefore, many fans rallied behind her and were upset when the jury awarded Driebergen the victory.

Several fans are also tired of all the advantages and twists Survivor now includes, and are convinced the fire-making challenge was explicitly introduced to save the veteran.

Many also believe Driebergen didn’t deserve to win the game as he only lasted by playing idols and an unprecedented twist. The hate continued five seasons later when he competed again on Winners at War.

During the first episode, starstruck by Survivor legend Boston Rob Mariano, the stay-at-home dad spilled the beans that Danni Boatwright wanted to eliminate the Redemption Island champ.

Additionally, Mariano, Ethan Zohn, and Parvati Shallow made him look like an inept Survivor player at a Tribal Council. Therefore, many fans have continued the Driebergen hate as they feel the veteran doesn’t belong in an all-winners season.

Adam Klein and other players are defending Ben Driebergen

While the HvHvH champ hasn’t given the haters much attention, some of his co-stars have stood up for him, namely Millennials vs. Gen X winner, Adam Klein.

During the airing of the Tribal Council, where the old school players nearly ate Driebergen up, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng champ, Michele Fitzgerald, tweeted, “Yes, Ben!!!”

When her tweet started getting attention from Driebergen haters, David vs. Goliath winner, Nick Wilson, replied, writing, “We love Ben. Get over it.” Klein also chimed in on “the toxicity in the replies” and asked if everyone has “forgotten the golden rule?”

Additionally, he noted, “the world (and definitely Twitter) would be a lot better place if people focused on those they love and not the hate.”

In response to a now-deleted tweet presumably from someone who felt Driebergen didn’t deserve his win, Klein explained, “I’ve been vocal about surprise twists like that and fire-making in particular. So I get it. But Ben is a good man and doesn’t deserve to be the target of attacks for something he had no control over. He played to win for his family. Wouldn’t you?”

Watch Survivor 40: Winners at War Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on CBS.