February 23, 2011 08:00 AM by Ryan Haidet
He’s one of the most conniving players in Survivor history, and reports that Russell Hantz was leaking spoilers about the show are making him look like a snake off the island, too. The alleged e-mails Hantz had been reportedly sending to a fan about seasons 19 and 20 — both of which he competed on — have now been obtained and published online by TMZ. Want to see what the e-mails were all about? Read on to find out!
News of Hantz”s suspected spoiling first broke in a story several weeks ago on TheDailyBeast.com. The article describes a lawsuit filed by executive producer Mark Burnett’s company against Jim Early, a Survivor fan who published extremely accurate spoilers regarding Survivor: Samoa and Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains. It’s reported that attorneys wanted to know where Early was able to confirm the details about the CBS reality giant. Early eventually revealed that Hantz was his source of the information.
Now, TMZ.com has published seven e-mails allegedly written by Hantz and Early spanning from September 26, 2009, through October 14, 2009. The e-mails are between “hantztankering,” which is the name of the Survivor star’s company, and “thegamesurvivor,” which TMZ says is Early. Many of the messages involve “thegamesurvivor” asking “hantztankering” questions about upcoming events on the show. The responses from “hantztankering” are often brief and basic confirming or rejecting the questions.
Click here to read those e-mails as published by TMZ.
A portion of an e-mail dated October 6, 2009, “thegamesurvivor” says: “But Russell S. is the one who faints – Dude I never know what you are saying yes to. Sorry but you are hard to read lol. So – yes – means Russell S. is the one who faints. Yes? My gut tells me the final 3 are you, Hot Natalie, and Mick.” Dont answer that yet, lol. Just yes or no on Russell fainting.”
The next day, “hantztankering” responds: “YES AND YES LOL.”
The accurate spoilers were then posted to the Survivor Sucks message boards by Early under the name missyae.
The two reportedly started corresponding after meeting on a fan site.
If Hantz did spoil Survivor, which he has adamantly denied, that would be a breach of his contract with the show.
During a conference call with reporters, which I was on a few days before the premiere of Survivor: Redemption Island, executive producer Mark Burnett said he had forgotten about the situation. “Don’t know if it’s actually true, because honestly as of this minute, I still have not had a conversation with CBS or anyone even about it. Actually I was thinking about this yesterday, I probably should call someone and ask someone. I don’t even know. But on the other hand, you’ve got to realize what I’m doing right now. I couldn’t be spending more time watching cuts of Redemption Island. Jeff (Probst) and I yesterday must have been on the phone discussing episode three for three hours. … I’ve not even spoken to Jeff about the question you asked me. I forgot. I completely forgot. Maybe I’ll call him later.”
Some sites accuse Burnett of lying to reporters with those remarks since his company is the one that reportedly filed the lawsuit against Early in the first place. My take? Burnett likely stepped back and let his attorneys handle the situation. And it is possible he forgot about it — or didn’t care. I think this could be comparable to the story involving Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg when was facing a lawsuit. He told “60 Minutes” that he didn’t spend much time dealing with the lawsuit at all. I think this could be a similar situation with Burnett. Maybe he stepped back and let the people working for him handle the case.
Plus, why would he initiate negative press about one of his star castaways who has been brought back to compete once again? Well, maybe it goes back to the philosophy that any publicity is good publicity. After all, look how many articles have been written about this case.
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Game images courtesy of CBS. Image from anniversary party by Ryan Haidet.