Tyler Perry says he suggested 'Survivor' make swimsuits 'look worn and tattered' but denies telling Jeff Probst to get rid of them altogether

Since 2018, "Survivor" players aren't seen in swimwear. Matt Petit/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images; CBS via Getty Images
Some fans and players of "Survivor" have been wearing swimsuits since 2018 and Tyler Perry is to blame.

Perry claimed that he doesn't know where the rumor suggesting it was his fault originated.

Since early 2018, players have not been seen in swimsuits. It's not clear why.

Tyler Perry is a big fan of "Survivor"; he even contributed a "special icon" twist to the show once. He said that it wasn't his fault that the players haven't been able to get swimsuits since 2018.

Many Reddit users and former players have believed for years that Perry was to blame for the show’s decision to eliminate swimwear from the gameplay. However, the actor and director refuted the claims to Insider.

Perry isn't sure how the rumor began, but he believes it could have been a text-message conversation he had with Jeff Probst, executive producer of "Survivor".

He told Insider that he didn't recall the exact season, but that there was one season when there were new swimsuits at the end of the season. I sent Jeff a text, saying "Hey, this seems odd. "If you're struggling, where are these brand new swimsuits?

One "Survivor" participant in 2014 wearing a swimsuit to complete a water challenge. A contestant in 2021 who completed a water challenge in clothes. Robert Voets/CBS via Getty Images. Robert Voets/CBS through Getty Images

Perry claims Probst explained why the new-looking swimsuits looked different by saying that players were losing weight and needed to buy different suits. Perry suggested a new system to make swimsuits look older while still fitting players.

He suggested that each player purchase a swimsuit in four sizes, going down as they lose weight. Then age them so they don't appear "strange and new" in the middle.

Perry said, "So it looks like they're wearing identical clothes, but they're more fitted and haven't worn yet. They just look worn and tattered."

He said that if production bought the same size swimsuit and aged it in different sizes, they would be no wiser than the audience.

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Perry told Insider, "Never said" that he wanted players to wear "filthy underwear."

He said, "It's horrible to have people on TV in clothes that don't fit and barely hold on - that doesn’t work either."

This rumor appears to be rooted back to a 2018 interview with Probst, but Probst clarified his comments to Insider

Jeff Probst hosts "Survivor." Robert Voets/CBS Entertainment

Multiple seasons of "Survivor" had contestants in swimsuits that they could use as an alternative outfit. The last time that players were seen in swimwear was during season 36 of "Survivor," which aired February 2018 to May 2018.

Probst revealed to The Hollywood Reporter, that Perry suggested that "filthier” swimwear be added to the show in the same month as its finale.

Probst made a joke about "Survivor" contestants during the interview, saying that next season they won't give them swim suits and only a sewing kit.

Soon after, Reddit posters began to blame Perry. Even Davie Rickenbacker, a season-37 competitor in "David Vs. Goliath", admitted that he didn't get swimsuits until a few months after Probst made his comment. He previously told Insider that he blames Perry for the apparent influence.

Probst, however, defended Perry in an Insider statement, saying that Perry "would never suggest any idea that would be harmful to any player ever."

We love hearing constructive feedback from ex-players. The game of Survivor is constantly evolving. Having the insight of someone who has lived it can be extremely helpful. Probst stated that there are many ideas that once seemed important but now need to be updated.

"Regarding the swimsuit issue, I need to first clear up any comments made by Tyler Perry. Tyler is one the most compassionate people I know. His swimsuit idea had absolutely nothing to do either with the players or the decision of whether or not they should get swimsuits. He said that it was directly connected to storytelling."

Probst stated that he understood the concern and would address it when he returned to production. I am confident that we will find a solution that addresses all of the issues.

Although the show never explained why swimsuits were removed from gameplay in the series, Insider spent months reporting on the issue and how it can pose serious health risks if you wear the same clothes for more than 39 days.

Insider has the original article.