Outlast executive producer Grant Kahler has spoken out about a particularly “intense moment” with contestants Jill Ashock and Amber Asay that has sparked a huge reaction online.
The series, which was filmed in 2021 but premiered on Netflix on March 10, follows 16 players who are dropped in the Alaskan wilderness and must outlast each other in a battle to win $1 million.
There is only one rule on Outlast, and that is that the players must be a part of a team to win, meaning they need to build a society and work with their fellow survivalists to succeed.
There is no elimination process for contestants, and the only way they leave the competition is to self-eliminate, though a few players are also removed on medical grounds.
Amber Asay and Jill Ashock pictured in episode eight of “Outlast” on Netflix. The show’s executive producer Grant Kahler has spoken about a particularly “intense moment” with the contestants that has sparked a huge reaction online. Netflix
Throughout the episodes, the Outlast players push their bodies and minds to their limits. As the competition intensifies, there are even some instances of sabotage, as contestants realize that they are able to force the hand of their co-stars by destroying or stealing their supplies, or blocking them from joining their team.
In one particularly dramatic episode Javier Colon, who had been left as the sole member of his team due to the others self-eliminating, attempted to join forces with another group.
While he was away from his camp, however, Ashock and Asay, who were on a team together, ransacked his shelter and destroyed his raft.
While discussing the subsequent tense moment in which Colon and Asay tussle over the remains of the previously-mentioned raft, and Asay calls her co-star a “weak ass motherf****r,” Kahler revealed what it was like to witness the dispute behind the scenes.
“It was an intense moment, for sure and, you know, that was one of those moments where we kind of let it play out,” he told Newsweek during an interview the day before Outlast premiered on Netflix.
In one “Outlast” episode, Amber Asay and Jill Ashock are seen working together to ransack their co-star Javier Colon’s shelter and destroy his raft. Colon is pictured above with his raft before it was destroyed. Netflix
Kahler continued: “We didn’t know how it was going to end because, again, there [was] no rule that was stating that Jill and Amber couldn’t do what they were doing, but at the same time, if it ever got to a point where we thought it was gonna hurt someone, like, we would have had to shut it down.”
The moment between Ashock, Asay and Colon left Outlast viewers at home extremely shocked by the lengths the women were willing to go to get ahead in the competition, and has sparked a huge reaction on social media.
Taking to Twitter after watching the series, one fan wrote: “#Outlastnetflix …. Jill and Amber can’t be real right? It’s gotta be scripted right? They’re pure evil.”
#Outlastnetflix …. Jill and amber can’t be real right? It’s gotta be scripted right? They’re pure evil
— oatmeal (@tauristocrat) March 13, 2023
While another posted: “My least favorite part of this show was watching Amber and Jill destroy the integrity of the game. Happy they lost. #Outlastnetflix.”
My least favorite part of this show was watching Amber and Jill destroy the integrity of the game. Happy they lost. #Outlastnetflix
— STAR (@ASTARINTHESKY15) March 12, 2023
“Jill and Amber are garbage people #Outlastnetflix,” added another outraged viewer.
During the pre-premiere chat, Kahler added to Newsweek that, if Outlast returns for a second season, they may need to rethink the “no rules” policy, having seen the lengths season one’s contestants went to.
“I think one thing we would have to be mindful of in future seasons is, after seeing this first season, I would wanna make sure people, just from a safety perspective, didn’t get a little too out of hand, you know, because they’re going to see this and see that you can take matters into your own hands,” he explained.
“So I just wouldn’t want to see someone from a camp just going to beat the sh** out of someone,” Kahler added.
Jill Ashock, left, and Amber Asay, right, have faced backlash from “Outlast” fans over their actions on the Netflix survivalist show. Netflix
At the beginning of the season the Outlast cast initially split into four teams but throughout the weeks in the Alaskan wilderness, different alliances are made—and broken—and the teams switch around as a number of contestants take themselves out of the running, unable to handle the harsh conditions.
Andrea Hilderbrand, Angie Kenai, Brian Kahrs, Corey Johnson, Dawn Nelson, Joel Hungate, Jordan Williams, Justin Court, Lee Ettinger, Nick Radner, Paul Preece, Seth Lueker and Timothy Spears, as well as Ashock, Asay and Colon, make up the Outlast cast.
Kahler, who executive produces the show alongside fellow EPs Jason Bateman, Mike Odair, Michael Costigan and Emma Ho, has teased that the cast could reunite for a special episode now that the show has been released.
Saying that a reunion show “would be spectacular,” Kahler explained: “We talk about it all the time, you know, with first season shows, it’s tricky with stuff like that, you know, because you never know how it’s going to do or how it’s received.”
Revealing how tensions are still high between the contestants who had issues during filming, Kahler said: “They still hate each other! To this day. I keep in touch with all of them.”
The first season of Outlast is available to stream on Netflix now.
Seth Lueker, Andrea Hilderbrand, Angie Esparza and Nick Radner pictured in “Outlast.” Actor Jason Bateman is one of the executive producers on the series. Netflix