Jeff Varner, the openly gay “Survivor: Game Changers” who outed a fellow contestant as transgender on last week’s episode, has lost his job with a Greensboro, North Carolina, real estate agency, the Greensboro News & Record reported.
Varner told the News & Record that he was fired on Thursday from Allen Tate Realtors because he was “in the middle of a news story that we don’t want anything to do with.” Allen Tate Realtors didn’t immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Varner joined the agency in its Greensboro-N.Elm area only last month.
The ruckus began on April 12, when Varner told the rest of the “Survivor” contestants at tribal council that “there was deception here,” before turning to fellow contestant Zeke Smith and asking, “Why haven’t you told anyone here that you’re transgender?”
Smith remained silent, while Varner tried to save face by arguing $1 million was at stake. “I’m gonna beat myself up over this,” he added, before sitting for the rest of the council with his head between his hands.
Smith hadn’t planned to come out on the show, as he “didn’t want to be the ‘first transgender “Survivor” contestant,'” he told the new issue of People magazine. “I’m not ashamed of being trans, but I didn’t want that to be my story… I just wanted to go out on an adventure and play a great game. I just wanted to be known for my game.”
Varner, who took a beating on social media, issued an apology after the episode aired, writing in part, “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.”
— Jeff Varner (@JEFFVARNER) April 13, 2017