A Survivor Contestant Was Outed as Transgender on TV
So is Jeff Probst, show host and executive producer.
"I'm not wild about you knowing that I'm trans".
Attempting to shift the critical eye to Zeke, he turns to his former ally and says, "Why haven't you told anyone you are transgender?" Because there is good in this world after all, Varner's outing backfired as fellow contestants came to Smith's defense.
But the fellow castaways did not accept that explanation - instead, they rallied against Varner. "It was for Zeke to discuss when he was comfortable discussing it", another contestant remarked.
"I didn't want to be the "trans" Survivor player, and I wanted to be Zeke the Survivor player", Smith later explained.
The shocking moment took place at the end of the episode, during the tribal council, when Varner, suspecting he might be voted out, made a desperate ― and despicable ― move to stay in the game. Probst scoffs, telling him, "You're saying that by not revealing it, he's capable of deception". The tribe agreed to send Varner home without an official vote, a rarity on the show.
Other contestants appeared visually disgusted at the soon-to-be evictee's remarks and harshly lambasted him. Smith had previously been a contestant on season 33 of the show and, during that season and this one, presenting as an out gay man - a conscious decision on his part. Nobody on this planet should do what I did tonight.
Varner said that when he was shown calling Smith "deceitful", he was referring to Smith's gameplay and not that he had kept a secret about being transgender. "It was awful. It was reprehensible, and I can only say it was a mistake and I am profoundly sorry and I will move forward".
After filming on "Game Changers" wrapped, the network worked closely with both Smith and GLAAD's Transgender Media Program to "ensure that when the episode aired Zeke would have the opportunity to speak for himself about his experience", the organization said in a statement on Thursday.
Nick Adams of GLAAD said: 'Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is unsafe and unacceptable to out a transgender person'. Sarah said she's: "thankful she got to know Zeke for who he is" adding she comes from the Midwest from an area that's "not that diverse" and said, "I love this guy so much and it doesn't change anything for me".
Varner calls his actions a "mistake" on Twitter and says he's "deeply saddened".
"Yep. I did that".
"I argue for the rights of transgender people every day in the state of North Carolina", Jeff claimed. He added that he "recklessly revealed something" he mistakenly believed everyone already know. I was wrong and make no excuses for it.