WATCH: Survivor Host Jeff Probst Asks Contestants If He Should Stop Using Gendered Phrase ‘Come On In Guys’

 

Survivor host Jeff Probst kicked off the 41st season of Survivor by asking contestants if he should retire the gendered phrase “Come on in guys,” a drama that took some twists during the 2-hour premiere.

“We need your guidance on something,” Probst told the 18 contestants at the top of the show. “For 20 years I have used one phrase to call people in for challenges: Come on in, guys, come on in. Love saying it, it’s part of the show, but I, too, want to be of the moment.”

“So my question to you to decide for us: In the context of Survivor, is a word like ‘guys’ OK, or is it time to retire that word?” Probst asked.

Contestant Evvie Jagoda weighed in, telling Probst “I personally think ‘guys’ is OK,” and that “I, as a woman, as a queer woman, do not feel excluded by ‘guys.'”

Probst then put the rest of the contestants on the spot, asking if anyone disagreed. Most shook heads, and contestant Genie Chen piped up “No.”

“We feel OK. Keeping guys, guys is good,” Probst confirmed, and declared OK, mark it down. Discussed and decided.”

The phrase — which has bizarre Guy Fawkes-related origins — has sparked a growing swell of backlash over the years for its gendered connotations.

But at the first immunity challenge, Probst asked contestant Ricard Foyé “what’s the vibe” so far in the game, and Foyé offered up a dissenting view on that day one question.

“So when we saw you on day one, you asked us a question. You asked us how we felt about ‘come on in, guys,'” Ricard said. “And the reality is there was so much going on. There’s so much commotion, cameras. My hair is messed up. I’m half crying. I don’t have the capacity to do what I’m really supposed to do, which I regret. I don’t agree that we should use the word, guys. I fully agree that we should change it, whether it just be dropping the guys, changing it to something else. I just don’t really agree with it.”

He explained that “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.”

Probst responded by congratulating Ricard for his courage, pointed out how messed up it was for him to ask the group the way he did in the first place, agreed to retire the phrase, and dared social media users to slam him for “caving”:

Yeah, that’s a great point and I got to say, I love that you thought about it more. I love that you had the courage, inside a million-dollar game in which standing up any time is risky, to bring it up again, because I’m with you. I want to change. I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it.

And realizing, in this moment, somebody right now is on social media saying, ‘Oh, he caved,’ It’s @JeffProbst on Twitter. I’ll probably never read it anyway.

All right, I love that we just made a change from now on. It is. Come on. You guys kept going, you were awesome.

But change comes slowly, so even after that edict, contestants — and Probst — went on to use the phrase “you guys” several more times in the episode.

The 2019 season of Survivor was marred by a hot mess of a #MeToo scandal, so if the “Come on in, guys” moment is the worst of it this year, Probst will likely consider that a win. And for most of America, it might be refreshing to see people competing for immunity, rather than protesting against it.

Watch above via CBS.

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