Survivor star speaks out over sacking

Survivor, Jeff outs Zeke in the name of the game1:03

On Survivor US, Jeff is instantly voted off after he outs Jeff as a transgender person. Courtesy: 9 Go

Jeff Varner (second from left) outed his trans competitor Zeke Smith (second from right) on Survivor. Picture: Jeffrey Neira/CBS via Getty Images

Staff writersNews Corp Australia Network

A SURVIVOR contestant who outed his transgender competitor has spoken out after being fired from his job over the controversy.

Jeff Varner, 50, was sacked by Allen Tate Realtors in North Carolina on Thursday, with the company saying it was because he was “in the middle of a news story that we don’t want anything to do with.”

That news story involved Varner outing fellow competitor Zeke Smith as transgender on last Wednesday’s episode of the US reality competition.

The three-time Survivor repeatedly apologised but was booted from the show — and his job.

Survivor contestants (from left) Jeff Varner, Sarah Lacina, Zeke Smith and Debbie Wanner. Picture: Jeffrey Neira/CBS via AP

Survivor contestants (from left) Jeff Varner, Sarah Lacina, Zeke Smith and Debbie Wanner. Picture: Jeffrey Neira/CBS via APSource:AP

Speaking toEntertainment Tonight, he said he was fired “in what I felt was an ugly, knee-jerk reaction kind of way.”

“I wasn’t even given the chance to explain or right the wrong,” he said.

“In the real estate world, buyers and sellers want to know they’re signing up with a company that won’t dump them or turn their backs on them in time of trial. So I’m talking to several firms now that I know will care about and believe in their employees. I have had several reach out [and] I’m confident I’ll find a better home.”

The former news anchor for CBS and Fox affiliates said he was dumped by email while doing press for Survivor.

“Suddenly my real estate licence was inactive and my current clients [were] left in the dark,” he said.

“It took hours after my press junket to get anyone with the company on the phone to tell me personally, and even longer to calm my clients, all of whom, by the way, are coming with me to my new firm.”

He added: “I was devastated. [I warned the company that headlines might be coming], but apparently not the people who needed to hear it.”

The openly-gay contestant said he has been undergoing therapy over the last 10 months to deal with the “traumatic outing”. The episode was filmed last year.

“This was traumatic for the both of us and it was ugly. When I came out of that game, I believe I even said, ‘Somebody shoot me’,” he said.

He continued: “I probably sent all the red flags up that I was going to kill myself over this, which of course I would never do that as much as I felt like I probably deserved it. There was a psychologist outside at the path that I walked down and I fell into her arms it was just great for me.”

Smith, meanwhile, explained that he didn’t mention he was transgender because he didn’t want to be known as “the trans Survivor player.”

He wrote in The Hollywood Reporter that by calling him deceptive, Varner invoked “one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people”.

SOURCE: newsnow entertainment