Survivor 41 Winner Erika Casupanan Shares Her Thoughts On How The Show Can Improve Diversity

True to Jeff Probst’s word that we could all just drop the 4 and keep the 1, Survivor 41 looked different in every possible way. From the new advantages to changes on finale night, contestants and fans had to consistently stay on their toes. But the biggest change of them all was the season having one of the most diverse casts in the show’s history, thanks to CBS’ commitment to improving in that regard. Erika Casupanan, who won the title of Sole Survivor in December, has some thoughts, though, as to how the show and media in general can still move the dial where diversity is concerned.

Truth be told, Erika Casupanan’s triumph on Survivor 41 with a 7-1-0 final vote – surprising as it was to some fans – shook the proverbial table. It made her the first woman of color to win since Natalie Anderson in San Juan del Sur in 2014, who was predated by Sandra Diaz-Twine in 2003 and 2010 and Vecepia Towery in 2001’s Marquesas before that. It’s definitely a shift in a more progressive direction, but when asked on Hot On The Street about how diversity in the entertainment industry should be approached moving forward, especially considering the difficult conversations that materialized on 41, Casupanan stated:

I think more conversations about diversity, more on-screen storytelling about diverse people, is something that for sure should continue. I think that another step on this journey would be ensuring that there’s the right people behind-the-camera who are able to tell that diverse story as well. So making sure that it’s not just diverse talent and then, let’s say, very uniform people behind the camera trying to tell that story. But figuring out how we can make sure that there’s also the people who are making the decisions — in terms of how some thing is edited or how something is produced or distributed — that also understand the story that diverse talent is telling.

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