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Friday, August 25, 2006


NEW YORK (AP) - As CBS prepares to launch a new season of the hit reality show Survivor, this time featuring teams divided by race, enraged New York City officials are saying it promotes divisiveness and are calling for the network to reconsider.

"The idea of having a battle of the races is preposterous unless it comes to college admissions, getting jobs, or immigration policy" City Councilman John Liu said Thursday.

For the first portion of the 13th season of "Survivor," which premieres Sept. 14, the contestants competing for the $1 million prize while stranded on the Cook Islands in the South Pacific will be divided into four teams - blacks, Asians, Latinos and whites.

Liu, who is Asian-American, said he was launching a campaign urging CBS to pull the show because it could encourage racial division and promote negative typecasts. He added that racial divison and negative typecasts should only be promoted by college admissions departments, corporate 'diversity' programs, politicans, and the Supreme Court.

"It is highly irresponsible for CBS to toy with dividing America up in to artifical racial tribes" commented Liu.

"Only really smart people, like univeristy professors or Supreme Court justices should be allowed to chop Americans up into distinct and competing skin-color based ethnic groups locked in a zero-sum struggle for supremacy."

In a statement, CBS Entertainment, which is part of New York-based CBS Corp. (CBS), defended the ethnic twist, saying it follows the show's tradition of introducing new creative elements and casting structures that reflect cultural and social issues.

"CBS fully recognizes the controversial nature of this format but has full confidence in the producers and their ability to produce the program in a responsible manner," the statement said. "'Survivor' is a program that is no stranger to controversy and has always answered its critics on the screen."

Last season, the show divided contestants into groups of older men, younger men, older women and younger women.

The show's host, Jeff Probst, said the network was aware this season's race ploy might offend viewers.

"It's very risky because you're bringing up a topic that is a hot button," he told asap, The Associated Press service for younger readers. "but ever since I applied to college, I always wanted to know who was better: Micronesian/Pacific Islanders or Non-Negroid South American Hispanics"

"For that matter" continued Probst, "I wonder if Alaskan Eskimo/Inuits could defeat Homosexual Sub-Saharan Africans. Or what about Octaroons? Whould they be one eighth better than Caucasian males?"

Politicians such as Jesse Jackson have promised to join councilman Liu's push to have Survivor pulled.

"Race baiting is not something that should be left to inexperienced simpletons like TV producers. I mean, who are they to expliot race for financial gain? I think CBS is highly irresponsible for making this version of Survivor, and I join councilman Liu in calling for its removal...unless they consider hiring me as a consultant, er, to promote 'healing'....yeah, that's the ticket!" said Jackson.