A contestant has been evicted from the popular US reality show Survivor after outing his rival as transgender on television.
Despite openly gay contestants Jeff Varner and Zeke Smith creating a bond over the course of the current season, a confrontation occurred at the Tribal Council this week because Varner looked likely to be voted out.
In an attempt to turn people’s criticisms elsewhere, he decided to publicly out Zeke as trans.
“Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender,” he asked.
“It reveals the ability to deceive.”
Zeke sat in silence, as it became clear Varner’s move had backfired. The other contestants derided him right away, with several breaking down in tears as they came to terms with what Varner had done to Zeke.
Umm, the outing of Zeke on Survivor was rough to watch. That wasn't strategic, that was mean. #SurvivorGameChangers
— Garrett (@GarrettzGotIt) April 13, 2017
Last night Zeke handled himself with an astounding amount of class in a situation where most would crumble. I'm still in awe. #Survivor
— Andy Herren (@AndyHerren) April 13, 2017
Host Jeff Probst scoffed at Varner’s move and stepped in to question him about his decision to out Zeke as a ‘game move’.
“You’re saying that by not revealing it, he’s capable of deception,” he said.
“That’s a giant leap of logic – do you honestly not see that?”
After checking with the contestants to see that their feelings were unanimous, Probst said there was no need for a formal vote. It was clear who had to leave the island.
“We don’t need to vote, just grab your torch.”
As the other contestants rallied around Zeke, he opened up about his reasons for not disclosing his trans gender identity to people on the show.
“One of the reasons I didn’t want to lead with that is because I didn’t want to be like, the trans Survivor player,” he said.
“I want to be Zeke the Survivor player.”
— SURVIVOR (@survivorcbs) April 13, 2017