Survivor is back with its 41st season, having taken a hiatus during the pandemic, and 8 episodes in, the show is on and poppin’. With a lightning fast timeframe at only 26 days instead of the usual 39, a dizzying number of new idols and advantages, and all new tribe configurations, the game is moving at a breakneck pace and keeping even the most veteran fans guessing. Longtime host Jeff Probst, who also serves as an executive producer on the show, is at the helm once again. He is the face of Survivor, having been the host since its inception in 2000 and hosting and producing the show throughout its 21-year lifespan.
In that time, the media and sociopolitcal climates have changed drastically, and the show is often praised for navigating these changes and allowing the game to grow along with the times. Real-life issues come into play in the little Survivor ecosphere, such as the incident during Season 39 when a situation on the show echoed the #MeToo conversations that were being held in the real world. This season, there’s an all-new topical conundrum, and it has to do with one of the only things on Survivor that hasn’t changed in 21 years: Jeff’s famous saying he yells before a challenge, “Come on in, guys!” Well… the saying he used to yell. Here’s what you should know about how the internet is reacting to the show changing the famous saying.
Contestant Evvie Jagoda Said The Phrase Didn’t Bother Her
Evvie Jagoda spoke up first, explaining that despite being queer and a woman, she felt the word ‘guys’ was so colloquial that at this point, she feels it can be used interchangeably for all different combinations of genders. She felt the phrase was part of the show’s tradition and wasn’t offensive. The conversation was discontinued amicably and we thought that was the end of it. (As a side note, Evvie is genderqueer and uses either ‘she’ or ‘they’ for pronouns; ‘she’ is mainly used on the show.)
But The Next Day, Ricardo Foye Spoke Up In Favor Of Ditching It
The next day, contestant Ricardo Foye wanted to revisit the issue. He explained that on the first day, he had been overwhelmed by the beginning of filming and didn’t take the chance to speak up. “I don’t agree that we should use the word ‘guys,'” he said. “I fully agree that we should change it, whether it just be dropping the ‘guys’ or changing it to something else. I just don’t really agree with it. The reality is, Survivor has changed over the last 21 years. And those changes have allowed all of us — all of these Brown people, Black people, Asian people, so many queer people — to be here simultaneously.” Jeff’s response was empathetic and affirmative: “I’m with you,” he said. “I want to change it. I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it.”
Some Pointed Out The Irony In The Genders Of The Opponent And Proponent
Twitter user @_namori_fan_ brought up an interesting point about the genders of Evvie, who supported the phrase, and Ricardo who wanted it gone. “why did @JeffProbst let ONE MAN decide that ‘come on in guys’ was offensive when EVERY WOMAN ON THE SHOW AGREED THAT IT WAS FINE”.
One Poll Showed 89% Of Fans Want To Keep The Phrase
According to a poll taken by goldderby.com, 89% of Survivor watchers were okay with the use of the colloquial ‘guys’ and thought Jeff should keep saying the phrase as he’s always said it. Of the remaining 11%, 8% said “Meh – I don’t care either way” and 3% said “Yes – he made the right decision.”
Some Called It ‘Virtue Signaling’
Twitter user @neslaughter thought the move was just for show. “I wish he had just made the decision, but instead he did this virtue-signaling posture of deference that was just embarrassing…” he said.
Others Agreed With The Move
Twitter user @avawildgust sided with Ricardo, Jeff and the show, tweeting: “It’s a valid question. It’s 2021, get with the times. Conservative always lose to progress.”
Many Think This Is About More Than Just The Use Of The Phrase
Twitter user @makcognito summarized the change of the phrase nicely by connecting it to the larger arc of the show as it enters its 41st season in over 21 years, tweeting: “Jeff’s bringing up the ‘come on in guys’ convo is less about his concern over the actual phrase and moreso a symbolic demonstration of his commitment to being open to change and evolving the game for the better.” The show has shifted and changed so much over the years, so it is also an effort on the show’s part to show its fans that the team is listening and that they intend for Survivor to grow along with its audience so that viewers will see people like themselves on the show. It provides a great model for other programs to show how changes can be made to fit the current moment. We wish The Bachelor would take a page out of Survivor‘s book!
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