‘Survivor’ Pits Race Against Race

In an attempt to revitalize its stale formula, CBS reality hit “Survivor” shook things up for the upcoming season. In a move that riled critics, producers separated the four teams on “Survivor: Cook Island” by ethnicity: Black, White, Latino, and Asian.

“We’re going to take some heat for it,” says creator and executive producer Mark Burnett of the twist, which was announced Wednesday morning. “But it’s a great cast.”

The show, whose season begins September 14th, featured a primarily white cast in previous seasons. “We’ve taken a lot of flack,” says Burnett. Show host Jeff Probst stated the sea of white faces was not the work of the producers, but instead, due to a lack of interest from other ethnicities. “Most of the people who apply are white,” he says. “That’s just a fact.”

Critics accused Burnett of intentionally drumming up press by the controversial segregation of teams, but Probst believes it will do more good than harm.

Until the tribes merge later in the season, the four teams will battle each other and, perhaps, racial stereotypes. “There are going to be people looking for stereotypes: Will this tribe be smarter than this tribe, or will this tribe be faster than this tribe?” says Probst. “That’s why I think it’s fun. But five people on a tribe do not represent an entire ethnic group.”

I guess whoever wins gets bragging rights for their whole race. Now that’s a lot of pressure.

Survivor to Divide Teams by Race [People]

Written by Alyk

Tags: Reality TV