Survivor's Jeff Varner fired from job after outing transgender contestant Zeke Smith

Jigmey Bhutia

Survivor contestant Jeff Varner was fired from his job on Thursday (13 April) after he outed fellow competitor Zeke Smith as transgender on the previous episode of the reality TV show.

Varner lost his job as an real estate agent at Allen Tate Realtors and was told that he was "in the middle of a news story that we don't want anything to do with", according to The Greensboro News & Record.

The news comes just a week after Varner revealed his new job as an agent.

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"Hitting SEND on my first active listing with @AllenTate," Varner previously wrote on Twitter. "#Realtors, send me buyers #Realtorlife."

In another post on the social website, he said, "New firm, New start. New life."

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Varner, who is gay, had accused Smith of "deception" on the show in a bid to stay in the competition.

"There is deception here. Deception on levels Jeff that these guys don't even understand," he said on the show. "Why haven't you told anyone that you're [Zeke Smith] transgender?"

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Replying to the three-time contestant, Smith said, "I didn't want to be the 'trans' Survivor player and I wanted to be Zeke the Survivor player. I don't even need a cheerleader because I know I can do whatever I want to do."

Other cast members were outraged after Varner outed Smith and the former was subsequently booted off the show by the tribal council. He apologised to Smith on the show and numerous times thereafter and maintained his support for the LGBTQ community.

"I offer my deepest, most heart-felt apologizes to Zeke Smith, his friends and life allies, his family and to all those who my mistake hurt and offended," he wrote on Twitter. "I recklessly revealed something I mistakenly believed everyone already knew."

"I was wrong and make no excuses for it. I own responsibility in what is the worst decision of my life."


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