The word “guys” has been banned from the 41st season of CBS’ reality series Survivor after one woke male contestant suggested the word was not inclusive enough.
During Wednesday’s season premiere, titled, “A New Era,” Survivor host Jeff Probst asked the contestants what they thought of his trademark phrase, “Come on in, guys!”
“For 20 years, I have used one phrase to call people in for challenges,” Probst said. “I love saying it. It’s part of the show. But I too want to be of the moment.”
“In the context of Survivor, is a word like ‘guys’ okay? Or is it time to retire that word?” the host asked, to which the contestants agreed he should keep the phrase.
One contestant, Evvie, told the host, “I personally think ‘guys’ is okay. ‘Come in guys’ is such a signature expression. I, as a woman, as a queer woman, do not feel excluded by ‘guys.'”
But later in the episode, before the first immunity challenge, a second contestant, Ricard, delivered a monologue in which he advised Probst to drop the word “guys,” adding that he didn’t speak up earlier because he was “half crying” and his hair was “messed up.”
“So when we saw you on day one, you asked us a question,” Ricard began. “You asked us how we felt about, ‘Come on in, guys,’ and the reality is, there was so much going on — 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,’ the contestant finally blurted out. “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.”
“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,” Ricard added.
Probst reacted by stating Ricard was courageous for suggesting he scrap the word “guys.”
“It’s a great point, and I gotta say, I love that you thought about it more,” Probst said. “I love that you had the courage inside a million-dollar game — in which standing up anytime is risky — to bring it up again, because I’m with you.”
“I want to change it,” the host proclaimed. “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 at Twitter, I’ll probably never read it anyway,” Probst added, implying he knows his decision to ban the word will be met with backlash.
“Alright, I love that. We just made a change. From now on it is, ‘Come on in,'” Probst affirmed.
Ricard is also married to a pregnant woman who identifies as a man, according to a report by the Seattle Times.
“I left my husband eight months pregnant [for Survivor],” the contestant said. “He was not the happiest, but he was ecstatic I got to live my dream.”