Dan from 'Survivor' says 'If you push me, I will push back'
Dan Foley was known for his explosive verbal outbursts while on Survivor: Worlds Apart—and if you thought he might have softened after returning to the United States and seeing his behavior on screen, you thought wrong.
Dan called into Entertainment Weekly Radio (SiriusXM, channel 105) this morning after his elimination on the show, and the man had a lot to say about how he was portrayed. He did apologize for calling Rodney’s mom a “whore,” but when the subject veered into a discussion about his words to and about Shirin (including saying someone needed to come slap her to shut her up), things got a bit uncomfortable. Now you can listen to the entire thing by clicking on the audio icon below.
Here are some highlights/lowlights, depending on your perspective:
On Mike trying to sway him at the end:
“The first thing he said to me, he was just so condescending. It was really very frustrating because we couldn’t beat this guy in a challenge. And everybody just wanted to get rid of him in the worst way at that point, because he was public enemy number 1. And he came to me and he basically said ‘I’m in control right now. This is what’s going to happen.’ That doesn’t fly very well with me.
“I’ll tell you this: I don’t care who you are. I don’t care what you are. If you push me, I will push back. I was picked on as a kid because the fat guy never does well in school. I got bullied a lot and I learned to stand up for myself. They showed me pushing back, but they never showed anybody pushing me. And I think I was represented kind of poorly. So when Mike came to me with that attitude, he was trying to tell me to vote Rodney out. He wanted me to get Rodney out of the game because he knew I wanted to go to the end with Rodney. So he wanted to blow my game up to show him loyalty. And I told him, ‘Mike, what do I have to show you loyalty for? You’re the one that betrayed me at the auction. You need to show me some loyalty.’ I played this game on my terms. Just like I said two episodes ago—nobody dictates my future but me.”
On the way he was portrayed on the show:
“I think there was a lot of selective editing that went on. I don’t deny things that I said. I just deny the way they were presented. The first thing I absolutely want to make sure everybody knows is I do not believe that Rodney’s mother is that word. It was a conversation he and I were having that took almost 30 minutes. We were talking about when guys know each other they make fun of each other and everything else… We were going back and forth and Mike was busting on Rodney for not helping out around camp. So he was like, ‘Rodney, are you going to do any work?’ And Rodney says ‘Dan, are you going to get out of bed?’ And then I said ‘Yeah, your mother’s a whore.’ Okay, you know something? It was completely out of context. Because I did say that, but it was right in line with the conversation we had just finished. So I think Rodney’s mother is wonderful.”
On his comments about wanting someone to come and slap Shirin to shut her up:
“The first thing I will tell you is that I had no idea that Shirin had domestic abuse in her past. I had no idea. That wasn’t shared and she didn’t say anything. I didn’t know. Had I known, I never would have chosen those words.”
After being told it was probably not a great choice of words regardless:
“You know something, how many times have you said or anybody else out there in the world has said, ‘God I could just kill this person’? Do you go home and plot murder? It’s an expression, people! Get a grip! There wasn’t a single person on the entire season that didn’t say derogatory things about Shirin. How many times have we seen Jenn saying ‘God, will she just shut up?’ She was even doing that at Ponderosa! Tyler did it at Ponderosa. Everybody wanted her to shut up! Nobody wanted to listen to her anymore. If that many people are saying the same thing to you, are we all bullies, or should you reevaluate how you deal with people? Okay? I meant it as an expression. It was a metaphor. I am not promoting violence against women. Or anybody for that matter. It was merely a phrase.
“Here’s what I know. We don’t get cast to be on these show because we like to sit around and knit and talk about our feelings. They cast us because we’re all big characters. We’ve all got big personalities. And all of us have our own garbage. We all have our own triggers. And I’m not saying they’re equal by any stretch of the imagination. Here’s what I do know: Obviously Shirin has a very troubled past and my heart genuinely, truly does go out to her. And clearly she still struggles with it. I just hope that she can get the help that she needs to be a whole person, because obviously there are still missing pieces inside of her and for that, my heart goes out to her.”
On if he has reached out to Shirin to apologize or plans to do so at the Reunion:
“You know something? I actually did try to reach out to Shirin and we had spoken—it was prior to the airing of that comment. She has continued to spew some very unkind things to me, and has done so right up until last night. And I’m going to be the bigger person. I’m going to take the high road here. And I don’t want this season to be about that type of thing. I want to talk about my gameplay. I want to talk about my excitement to have finally had the opportunity, and if Shirin wants to continue to go down that path, then that’s on her. It’s not going to be on me. Let’s try something different instead.”
On answering questions from Jeff Probst about it at the Reunion:
“It’s a live reunion. I’ve waited 14 years to get there. I’d like to talk about gameplay. I’d like to talk about the moves I’ve made in the game. At the risk of sounding conceited, Shirin got her week. This is my week and I’m not going to spend it talking about her.”
On being upset at Mike for his auction letter fake-out:
“There’s a difference between a bluff and lie, and I really did take that as a personal strike…. On day 2, it was not shown, that was my wedding anniversary. And I’ve never been out of contact with my wife for so long. I was crying on day 2 because I missed my wife so badly. I wanted that letter like I can’t even explain to you.… Mike and I, we had talked I don’t know how many times about how much we cared about our family and our loved ones.… I looked at Mike and I said “please,” and he turned his back anyway. How can you not take that personal? How can you not see that as a personal attack? It’s tough not to.”
On how he thinks he would have done on votes had he made it to the end:
“I looked at the jury. I knew I was all done with Shirin. I had no shot, no chance. I felt like I might have had a chance with Hali. I didn’t know, because I didn’t know how she felt about me. I do now. I really felt like I could have gotten Joe’s vote, depending on who I was sitting with. And I really felt like Joe was going to be a strong enough influence for other people. But I really didn’t think Jenn liked me very much. Jenn’s a wild card. Jenn will do the opposite of what you think just because it will make her happy…. What’s the line from Batman? Some people just want to watch the world burn, and Jenn loves chaos just for the sake of chaos. Not for the sake of anything particular, just because.”
Click on the audio player below the hear the entire interview. (It starts at the 37 minute mark on the podcast.) But first, we chat with two men responsible for two of the most iconic TV characters of the past 20 years. We begin with Martin Sheen, who discusses playing President Bartlet on The West Wing. The politically active Sheen also talks about whether he ever thought about running for office himself and reveals that people have in fact asked him to consider him. We also chat with Sheen about starring with Jane Fonda, Lily Tomlin, and Sam Waterston on his new Netflix show Grace and Frankie.
Then, the truth is out there and it is on our podcast as well as David Duchovny checks in to talk about the big X-Files revival. Duchnovy discusses what the new season will be like, why he wil never do anything as big as it ever again, and how nobody gave the show much of a chance when it first began. He also tells us about his other show Aquarius as well as his new…singing career? Yep, Fox Mulder has an album out and he’ll tell you all about it while also claiming he’s not a great singer. (The Duchovny interview starts at 16:45.)
You can listen to the whole podcast below. Or, since we’re on iTunes, you can subscribe for free and take the podcast with you. No iTunes? No problem. You can also download the entire podcast right here. To send a question to the InsideTV Podcast team, follow us on Twitter @InsideTVPodcast. And to hear more interviews and television discussion and debate, check out Entertainment Weekly Radio on SiriusXM, channel 105.