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Survivor Creator Burnett Says New Season "Not Racial At All", General Motors Says Pulling Sponsorship Not Related At All

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Feeling the heat from the controversy stirred up by activists and protests swirling around his hit show Survivor, creator Mark Burnett not only called his critics ignorant but claimed that dividing the teams up by ethnic groups will not make for a racial show.

"By putting people in tribes, they clearly have to get rid of people of their own ethnicity," Burnett, who also created NBC hit "The Apprentice", told a group of reporters on Tuesday, Variety reports. "So it's not racial at all."

Meanwhile, one of the show's biggest sponsors, GM, who never before had a problem getting their automobiles out to the exotic locations, is suddenly claiming that they are having a hard time figuring out how to place their products on Cook Island, so they will no longer be sponsoring the long-running reality game show. Makes sense to withdraw, given that 9 of the 20 participants this season are from car-crazy LA.

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GM decided to pull its advertising from "Survivor" because sponsoring the show no longer fit the company's business objectives, a spokesperson for the automaker said. It was difficult to integrate an automobile into a program that's set on an island, the spokesperson said, adding, "It's been a great relationship with the show." - TV Week

Some are quite excited about the new season, which premieres in a few weeks. The online betting site is saying that the smart money is on the Asian tribe while the Hispanics are the longshots.Our bet is on Survivor returning to its glory days of earning a 24-share. Last year it only averaged about 16 million viewers after once being able to rake in closer to 30. The NY Daily News says that Burnett has earned an Emmy for Best Marketer.