‘Survivor’ Stirs Up Supremacists


CBS’s plan to racially segregate the tribes for the 13th season of “Survivor” has white-supremacist Web bulletin boards buzzing, prompting concern from the Southern Poverty Law Center civil rights group.

“It has lit up the white-supremacist world,” said Mark Potok, director of the Intelligence Report at the SPLC. “It’s been a fairly remarkable reaction. [The format] plays into the hands of many people in this country who have racist feelings.”

The upcoming season of the 6-year-old CBS reality show has contestants separated by race into four groups: The African-American Tribe, the White Tribe, the Hispanic Tribe and the Asian-American Tribe. The tribes will stay segregated for about half the season.

Since the format was announced two weeks ago, the plan has been widely criticized as a racially inflammatory ratings stunt. Show creator Mark Burnett has said the format was a response to criticism that the reality program didn’t include enough minorities.

People posting messages on white supremacist Web sites such as Stormfront.org and Vanguardnewsnetwork.com, are greeting the “Survivor” format with a mix of hope and suspicion: Some hail the idea as a way to foster racial pride among whites, but others fear Hollywood will portray whites unfavorably.

“This is a great idea,” wrote poster “Drafli Hakon” on Stormfront, which claims 120,000 members. “This will get all those millions of couch potatoes who watch the show [rooting] for their own. Win, lose or draw, millions of whites will start to remember that they ARE part of a tribe. If the Whites win, they will feel pride. If they lose, they will feel resentment towards those who won. It’s win-win for us.”