''Survivor''

Quitting Time

Another Survivor walks off the show -- We'll probably never know what really happened, but all we need to know is that Sue felt sexually harassed, says Dalton Ross

Susan Hawk, Survivor: All-Stars | RUB DOWN Sue claims that Richard Hatch inappropriately rubbed against her
Image credit: Survivor All-Star: Monty Brinton/CBS
RUB DOWN Sue claims that Richard Hatch inappropriately rubbed against her

Another player walks off the show

I've been doing these weekly ''Survivor'' updates for a few years now. They're fun. I enjoy them. And living in a fantasy world (where Kajagoogoo is always blaring and the Milwaukee's Best flows freely) conveniently allows me to believe that a few people out there actually look forward to the damn things.

But you know what? I quit. I don't know why, but suddenly I am filled with an overwhelming desire to… well, quit. It just seems like the thing to do these days. Everybody's doing it! I swear, I wouldn't be surprised if it ends up listed as ''In'' on nex week's Shaw Report. (Jessica, you need to hit this one while it's hot, baby!)

Seriously, though, what has happened to poor Mark Burnett? He puts people through the most hellish living conditions imaginable for six and a half seasons, and no one leaves on their own free will (well, Shawna tried to in ''The Amazon'' but her teammates refused to vote her out, which was pretty damn amusing in its own right).

But ever since about halfway through season 7, people are just BEGGING to leave. First Osten (pathetic and inexcusable), then Jenna (never should have come in the first place, as her best buddy Heidi even just said on ''The Early Show''), and now Sue Hawk, who left after she couldn't emotionally recover after having Richard rub his naked genitalia against her. (Can you blame her?)

Okay, this is a touchy one -- no pun intended. Like with Jenna, I'm sure there are many varying opinions about how Sue handled the situation. It's really hard for me to take much of a stance for several reasons.

(1) We couldn't see what really happened. Sure, the cameras showed a naked Richard move next to Sue, but then it cut away before you could see the alleged rubbing that took place. (2) I'm not a woman. As a guy, I don't know what it's like to be violated in this way, and I can't pretend to. (3) I'm not Sue. Even a situation like this is likely to be handled by different women in very different ways. To some, it may not have been a huge deal. To others, it would be.

Amber had a valid point when she talked about how everything gets magnified being out in that environment. (In fact, I think it's the first thing Amber's ever said that I actually paid attention to.) When you're hot, hungry, and constantly worried about who's trying to backstab you, it wears and tears you down. That's what happened to Jenna. And that's what may have happened to Sue as well.

The point is, to Sue, it WAS a big deal. And that's all that really matters. Which brings us to the more debatable point, which is looking at the reactions of the other players in the game. If you ask me, the guys of Chapera came off looking pretty damn bad.

Look, Tom definitely had a point when he said Sue is all about Sue. He's right. She is. But that doesn't mean you go and do a celebratory dance after the woman is emotionally crushed (and possibly sexually assaulted). I mean, jeez! And Rob and Rupert didn't come off much better. At least they had the courtesy to change the lyrics from ''the witch is dead'' to ''the witch is GONE.'' Now, THAT'S class, people.

If you're like me, you knew something funky was going on with this episode when the clock struck 8:30 ET and there had still not been any notice of a reward challenge. (''Tree mail! Where's the damn tree mail?!?'') That's when I figured Sue was gonna go bye-bye. Her departure was certainly emotional, and if I were the producer I would have just scrapped the whole challenge after that. I mean how anticlimactic was that thing?

The only funny part about it was watching Probst give out the game instructions while looking like he had just peed his pants. (I guess those quick-dry shorts didn't dry off as quick as he hoped after escorting Sue to her boat. Hey, at least he HAD pants on.)

The only other valuable aspect to having the challenge was having Mogo Mogo win so we could hear all about how Ethan wanted to rub his face in meat. Nice image. Actually, considering the image that led to Sue's quitting, that would be a step in the right direction. Maybe I'll stick this gig out a little longer after all.

Originally posted Mar 05, 2004