‘Survivor’: Danny McCray Was Surprised by the Cast’s Diversity

by Shelby Scott

CBS‘s hit competitive show, “Survivor,” has seen some drastic transitions and transformations across its long run on television. Now, among all the new changes that have taken place on “Survivor 41” this season, former NFL player Danny McCray shared that this installment of the hit show surprised him with the cast’s overall diversity.

As TVLine stated during the interview with McCray, diversity entered the conversation on “Survivor” more than a few times this season. In the outlet’s discussion of the topic, McCray received the question, “Did the cast’s diversity surprise you?”

McCray emphatically answered, “It actually did!” We learn that, based on the former football player’s experience, “[the cast] didn’t really get to see each other or talk to each other – and we had masks on, so we didn’t see each other’s faces – but the first thing I recognized was how many African American people were on the cast.”

Overall, it wound up creating a unique and important conversation in the scope of “Survivor” across the season. That is, in addition to providing necessary diversity and representation.

McCray further expressed his sentiments upon first meeting the rest of the cast members. “Man, there’s a lot of us out here!” he thought. “This is crazy. This is actually really great for people to watch on TV.”

‘Survivor 41’s’ Diversity Led to Temporary ‘All-Black Alliance’

In touching on the topic of diversity with TVLine, the former NFL player also addressed this season’s temporary all-Black alliance.

“Was an all-Black alliance in your mind from the very start?” the outlet asked McCray.

While the opportunity did present itself early in “Survivor” this season, McCray said, “It wasn’t at the start. It was more me trying to focus on what my game would be.”

McCray further expanded on the alliance and how viewers potentially interpreted it at the start. During the interview, the “Survivor” contestant shared, “A lot of people think the alliance was formed just based on the fact that we were Black, but none of those alliances would work if you don’t trust the people and understand who they are.”

The football player expanded on what initially makes an alliance work and why “Survivor’s” all-Black alliance did not work out this season.

“You still have to get a tone for what [the players] actually want to do in the game,” he explained.

Ultimately, the group’s own individual differences and skills as Survivors drove the alliance apart. McCray concluded that, upon arrival to the set, “it wasn’t my first intention to say, ‘Hey we’re all going to work together to get forward in this game.” While the “Survivor” contestant did take notice of the show’s increased diversity, it wasn’t his primary goal to form the alliance from the get-go.