With the premiere of one of the most anticipated seasons of the most popular social experiment on TV, Survivor is set to drop on February 12, 2020, finally giving us its all winners season, Winners at War. Not only is this season filled with some of the best to players the game has but, CBS is also upping the ante and increasing the prize money to $2 million. Many fans will be asking about one notable missing winner, Richard Hatch, the sole survivor of the very first season and he has something to say about his absence from Winners at War.
Host and executive producer of the show, Jeff Probst explains his reasoning for not having Richard Hatch return for Winners at War. Hatch’s legacy may have been tarnished by fellow survivor Sue Hawk who played with Hatch back in 2000 on the first season and during All-Stars in 2004 where Sue was sexually assaulted by Hatch. The event occurred when Hatch competed naked during a challenge and got too inappropriate with Sue.
Sue spoke on the season after the event to Probst. “I was sexually violated, to have some guy come up, he passed a half a dozen people on platforms and never touched ’em. It went too far. He crossed the line with me.”
Probst talked about not having Hatch back for Winners at War to Us Weekly.
“I don’t know if we didn’t ask him because I think we called every single winner about returning, and the fact that he was the first is a fair point,” Probst told Us Weekly. “But the bigger consideration was ‘Where is the show now?’ and ‘Do these 20 winners represent the show today?’ In that sense, we didn’t feel that Rich fit into the equation.”
Probst then added that it “didn’t seem appropriate” to have Hatch back given the controversy of his past.
Hatch responded to the comments made by Probst on his personal YouTube channel where he said he was approached to be on the season 40 and even dropped out of his Ph.D. program because he felt that he was going to be on the show once again. Hatch in an interview with CinemaBlend. “The truth is he was part of everything that happened in the shows and what got edited and what didn’t. And now he’s in charge of that,” Hatch said of Probst. “And if he didn’t want me to be naked or anyone else in a challenge, they just have that rule. Can’t be naked in challenges. It’s simple. You hear all those naysayers out there. ‘Oh, Richard Hatch couldn’t even play Survivor now.’ Well, now you won’t know because Jeff Probst stole that from you. It’s absurd.”
Jeff Probst finished off his comments on Richarch Hatch with, “I didn’t feel comfortable having him out on the show and representing a show that is for families,” Probst continued. “It’s about inspiring kids to want to get out and make something and see what they’re capable of. This group is very inspiring.”
Whether Hatch is on the season or not, there is no doubt Winners at War is the season to watch whether you’re a super fan, casual fan, or returning fan looking to get back into the show.