NEW YORK, Sept. 14 (UPI) -- This year's contestants on CBS' "Survivor: Cook Islands" are split over their views of its premise of dividing them based on race.
While previous seasons have split players into teams by aspects such as gender, this year's decision by series execs to create teams of African-American, Caucasian, Hispanic and Asian teams has been met with a variety of emotions from its player. The show premieres Wednesday.
"Survivor" host Jeff Probst told TV Guide how some contestants, mainly Yul Kwon from the show's Asian team, were concerned racial divides may ultimately lead to the use of stereotypes on the popular series.
"We assured him that we did not cast the show looking to fulfill an existing stereotype," said Probst, "and as far as what any of the 20 did while on the show, all we were going to do was observe."
TV Guide said that most contestants were able to look past the racial division on the series and many, including the Hispanic team's Oscar "Ozzy" Lusth, were only concerned that their newfound partners would help them win.
"All he cared about was contribution. If you're carrying your weight, you're OK. If not, you're gone," Probst said. "Rebecca, from the African-American tribe, her focus was very clear -- who can help me win this game? If they could help her win the $1 million, she'd team up with them."