‘Survivor’ villain Russell Hantz blasts ‘woke’ Jeff Probst for dropping ‘guys’: ‘It feels like a slap in the face’ [WATCH]

One of the most memorable villains to ever play the game of “Survivor,” Russell Hantz, is not happy about host Jeff Probst‘s decision to stop saying the “guys” part of his iconic “Come on in, guys” catchphrase. In Hantz’s 13-minute video response (watch above), he explains, “It’s a big deal when you take tradition out of things. That’s a huge deal.” Probst initially asked the “Survivor 41” cast members in the season premiere whether they were still okay with the word “guys” in today’s climate, and they responded in the affirmative. Later at the immunity challenge, Ricard Foye spoke up about the need to retire the phrase and Probst stated, “I’m with you. I want to change it. I’m glad that was the last time I will ever say it.”

Hantz and others thought the move was an overly “woke” reaction by “Survivor,” with many viewers vowing to stop watching the show altogether. “There’s three big things that Jeff says that we love,” Hantz notes. “One of them, ’39 days, 1 Survivor’ — gone. The next one, ‘Come on in, guys’ — gone. The next one, ‘The tribe has spoken’ — wait, what? The what has spoken? You better fix some things, Jeff. Who do you think you are? A tribe of Native Americans? Is that who you think you are? When are you gonna cancel that one?”

Hantz feels that dropping the word “guys” is just the tip of the iceberg for other changes that are sure to come. “They opened a can of worms,” he warns. “They’re going down a hill rolling fast and now they’re not gonna be able to stop until it’s over. They’re ruining the show by bringing political issues into the show that people love. We do not want to see political talk in the shows that we watch on our free time.”

Hundreds of contestants have played “Survivor” over the past two decades, and many of them disagree with Hantz’s strong reaction to the controversy. “We’re seeing some Survivors tweet how they’re okay with the change,” he concedes. “First of all, I don’t really believe that. Maybe a handful. I’ve talked to dozens. Not one of them were okay with that change. We created this game. We did this. We have passion towards the game. And when you take away iconic sayings in the game, when you take away that from us, it feels like a slap in the face.”

SEE Everything to know about ‘Survivor 41’

He then speaks directly to the show’s host with the most: “It was not even necessary to bring up, Jeff. If you’re gonna take it away, just take it away [off-camera] and talk in some article after the show.” He adds, “I seriously believe it’s the beginning to the end. I can’t sit there and watch it. I don’t want to. If you want to watch it, you can. If they’re gonna slap me in the face, I’m gonna slap them back.”

Hantz also blasts the newly introduced background videos showing quick-cuts of the castaways back home in their real lives. “Why do we need to see that?” he wonders aloud. “No one cares. They want to watch the game of ‘Survivor.'” And he has a bone to pick with the new players, too, after their poor showing at the initial reward challenge: “They’re not ‘Survivors.’ They shouldn’t be out there.”

The infamous villain came close to winning “Survivor” twice, as he was the runner-up to Natalie White in “Samoa” and the third-place finisher to Sandra Diaz-Twine and Parvati Shallow in “Heroes vs. Villains.” He returned for a third time in “Redemption Island” where he was quickly voted out. Overseas fans saw him compete on “Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.”

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