Obama’s gay former speechwriter who dated Ronan Farrow joins cast of Survivor

Barack Obama’s gay former speechwriter, Jon Lovett, has joined the cast on the new season of Survivor

During the finale of Survivor‘s 46th season on Wednesday (22 May), CBS aired a teaser advert for the upcoming series, featuring Lovett – who wrote speeches for three years during the Obama administration – as a contestant. 

While the cast has not been officially announced, fans and friends of Lovett, who co-hosts podcast Pod Save America, have welcomed his involvement, with colleague and Crooked Media co-founder Jon Favreau posting on Twitter/X: “What did I tell you? Eat pray Lovett.”

According to fan site Inside Survivor, season 47 will be filmed in Fiji’s Mamanuca Islands, and is expected to premiere in late September. The reality show sees contestants, vying for a $1,000,000 (£785,000) prize, trapped in an isolated location where they must provide food, fire and shelter for themselves, as well as compete in physical challenges. 

During the teaser, Lovett lamented his lack of survival instincts, claiming: “I have no outdoor skills. What am I doing here? I went camping as a cub scout, I threw up and went home.”

The first look at Survivor 47, coming this fall to CBS. #Survivor47 pic.twitter.com/NBGJqnlwQg

— Reality TV News/Updates (@Realitytv__fan) May 23, 2024

In 2015, Lovett admitted that he had secretly officiated a same-sex wedding in the White House before then-president Obama officially supported gay marriage.

Lovett, who dated investigative journalist Ronan Farrow, the son of actors Mia Farrow and Woody Allen, for more than 10 years, said he performed the wedding after same-sex marriage was legalised in Washington DC in 2010, despite Obama not officially supporting the cause for another two years.

“I wrote speeches at a time when the Democratic position was basically ‘no thank you’ [to same-sex marriage],” Lovett told the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2015. “Over time… it became more awkward to work on these speeches.

“I couldn’t ignore it when two of my best friends in the world, Steve and Justin, asked me to perform their wedding.”

The couple had initially planned to get married in West Virginia, before Lovett applied to become a minister in the country’s capital, and sneaked the pair into the president’s official residence.

“We were very nervous. They were nervous because they were getting married. I was nervous because I snuck into my boss’ house to perform a wedding against his wishes, in his backyard,” admitted Lovett, who was also a producer on Aaron Sorkin’s hit drama The Newsroom.

“You can say what you will about the first same-sex wedding to take place at the White House… at the very least it was quite rude.”

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