Survivor contestant who outed his co-star is fired

Louise McCreesh
Photo credit: CBS

From Digital Spy

Survivor contestant Jeff Varner has been fired from his job after outing a fellow contestant as transgender.

Varner was unanimously voted out of the competition by his peers after exposing tribemate Zeke Smith as transgender in a bid to paint him as 'deceitful'.

During tribal council in the latest Survivor: Game Changers episode, Varner attempted to save himself by outing Zeke Smith, saying: "There is deception here. Why haven't you told anyone you're transgender?"

The move caused a backlash on social media, with some viewers condemning Varner's actions as a 'hate crime' and 'assault' – and now it looks like the decision to out Zeke has cost Varner his real-life job too.

Following the airing of the scenes, local paper News & Record Greensboro is reporting that Varner has now been fired from his job as a real estate agent as a result of the media coverage surrounding his actions.

According to the paper, Varner revealed in an interview that he'd been told he'd lost his job as he was "in the middle of a news story that [the employers] don't want anything to do with".

And, to make matters worse, it appears that Varner had only just started his new job at the real estate firm too.

Varner posted a public apology to Zeke on his Twitter page after the scenes aired, calling it "the worst decision" of his life.

"Let me be clear, outing someone is assault," he wrote. "It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger. It can leave scars that haunt for a lifetime. I am profoundly sorry."

The current series of Survivor marked Varner's third time on the series and Zeke's second time on the show.

Since it was filmed 10 months ago, Zeke has been able to respond to the story as it happened this week, sharing a post saying he was "touched and honoured" by the love and support he'd received.

"I cannot adequately express how touched and honored I am for the overwhelming love and support I've received tonight," he wrote. "It's been a long nine months awaiting this night."

Survivor airs on NBC in the US.

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