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No one is shocked that HBO’s The White Lotus dominates at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards, but no one had Mike White asking not to be voted out of future award shows on their Bingo card. The White Lotus creator and former Survivor finalist won back-to-back Emmys and then expressed his worry over too many successes in a row. 

'The White Lotus' writer, creator, and director Mike White at the 74th Primetime Emmys
Mike White | Chris Haston/NBC/ Getty Images

Why did Mike White discuss CBS’s Survivor in his Emmys acceptance speech? 

It was a valid analogy. The White Lotus creator, writer, and director Mike White won the Emmy for Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series and Outstanding Directing for a Limited Series. The Television Academy presented the awards back to back, giving the director some anxiety. 

Mike White was the runner-up in Survivor Season 37 — Survivor: David vs. Goliath. In the long-running reality TV competition series, contestants compete in challenges to win immunity at the next tribal council. Without immunity, the players could be voted out and off the island. White felt that the awards felt like immunity necklaces, which didn’t fit his strategy to win two in a row. His fly-under-the-radar strategy on the show came back to him when he accepted two back-to-back awards. He stepped into the spotlight and worried he might be the next one taken out. Luckily, The White Lotus: Sicily (season 2) comes out in October, and it’s shaping up to be as incredible as the first installment. 


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Mike White didn’t win ‘Survivor’ Season 37

Nick Wilson beat out Mike White for the $1 million prize on Survivor Season 37 in 2018. The final vote came down to seven for Nick, three for Mike, and zero for Angelina Keeley. Mike played a solid social game and fled mainly under the radar until the end of the game. However, he orchestrated a series of blindsides in the later game. It sounds a little bit like his directing career. Except we know this isn’t the end of Mike White’s talents in the writing and directing world. 

Why else does Mike White look familiar? 

Mike White also appeared in CBS’s Amazing Race 14 and Amazing Race: Unfinished Business. However, he didn’t get as far as in his time on Survivor. He placed in 6th place in 2009 and then 10th place in 2011. 

Although White is frequently found behind the screens, he’s had numerous acting roles in the shows he produced. One main memory is White as Ned Schneebly in School of Rock

‘The White Lotus’ won 10 Academy Awards

In addition to Mike White’s two wins for The White Lotus, the HBO anthology series took home eight other Emmys. The satirical drama won Emmys for the following categories at the 74th Primetime Emmy Awards:

  • Outstanding Single-Camera Picture Editing For A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie 
  • Outstanding Music Composition For A Limited Or Anthology Series, Movie, Or Special (Original Dramatic Score)
  • Outstanding Original Main Title Theme Music 
  • Murray Bartlett for Outstanding Supporting Actor In A Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
  • Jennifer Coolidge for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
  • Outstanding Casting in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
  • Outstanding Sound Mixing in a Limited Or Anthology Series Or Movie
  • Outstanding Limited or Anthology Series

The White Lotus Season 1 is available for streaming on HBO.