'Survivor' Castaway Aaron Meredith Apologizes for His Reaction to Inappropriate Touching Controversy

Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Survivor castaway Aaron Meredith has apologized for his role in Wednesday's tribal council, which addressed allegations of inappropriate touching by contestant Dan Spilo. 

In a tearful video posted to Instagram on Thursday, Meredith apologized for the comments he made during the episode, which suggested that the allegations against Spiro were invalid because he and the other men on the tribe weren't "involved." Contestant Kellee Kim was the first to raise concerns that Spilo had touched her inappropriately and invaded her personal space; she then discussed those concerns with castmate Missy Byrd. 

Byrd and her alliance member, Elizabeth Beisel, then tried to use the angle as strategy, and appeared to exaggerate their own reactions to Spilo's alleged inappropriate touching. Kim was sent home, and host Jeff Probst addressed what had happened during the next tribal council. 

"I want to publicly apologize for my behavior and my actions at tribal council last night," Meredith said. "Watching back the episode was extremely difficult and I, immediately after saying what I said in the game, I regretted saying what I said and now watching it back, I’m very disappointed in myself and how I conducted myself handling the emotions of this game in this situation, given the magnitude of what this surrounds, I’m disappointed in myself. I’m not looking to make any justifications in my behavior. It was completely unwarranted. I was out of line. I was out of place. I let emotions get the best of me."

Meredith continued, saying that he's "completely" owning his mistake and taking responsibility for what he said during tribal council. "I am sorry to my castmates, I am sorry to those people who have been personally affected by sexual assault and if I triggered anything with what I said I truly am sorry," he said. 

"It’s not reflective of me as a person outside the game. I don’t conduct myself like that. I don’t handle situations like that. I never have and I am truly sorry. There’s not much I can say. I learned a lot in this experience -- in the game. I’ve had a lot of time to think about it outside the game. I’ve spoken to everybody involved and I want everybody to understand and know that I’m aware of what I said. I’m aware that it was wrong. I own up to it. I took full responsibility. If I could go back, I would have said what I wanted to say and worded it completely different. Not a moment in my life that I’m proud of and again I am truly, truly sorry from the bottom of my heart. This may be falling on deaf ears. I’m not looking for praise for doing this. It’s how I feel and I’m sorry. Again, I can’t apologize enough," he concluded. 

Spilo, who was given an official warning by Survivor producers for his behavior, apologized at tribal council. The controversy over the episode, however, sparked conversations and backlash against contestants on social media. Castaway Lauren Beck wrote on Twitter, "I did not know ANYONE lied about this situation I definitely did not or wouldn’t EVER. I spoke my truth, that’s all I know." 

In a joint statement to ET on Thursday, CBS and MGM said all Survivor contestants are monitored at all times.

"In the episode broadcast last night, several female castaways discussed the behavior of a male castaway that made them uncomfortable," the statement reads. "During the filming of this episode, producers spoke off-camera to all the contestants still in the game, both as a group and individually, to hear any concerns and advise about appropriate boundaries. A formal warning was also given to the male castaway in question. On Survivor, producers provide the castaways a wide berth to play the game. At the same time, all castaways are monitored and supervised at all times. They have full access to producers and doctors, and the production will intervene in situations where warranted."

Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on CBS. See more in the video below. 


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