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Jeff Varner fired following 'Survivor' tribal council, employer speaks out


UPI News Service, 04/17/2017 

Jeff Varner, who made headlines for outing fellow "Survivor" contestant Zeke Smith as transgender during the shows tribal council, has been fired from his real estate job following the incident.

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"The Allen Tate Companies were built on core values of honesty, integrity and respect," Varner's former employer, Allen Tate Real Estate CEO Pat Riley said in a statement to Entertainment Tonight.

"Those fundamental beliefs led us to end our relationship with Mr. Varner, a real estate agent who had become affiliated with our firm just 17 days earlier," he continued.

Varner, following his termination, stated that he was let go in an "ugly, knee-jerk reaction kind of way," and that he had warned the company that negative reactions to his actions on Survivor were coming before the episode aired.

Riley denies that claim further stating, "To be clear, at no time before the airing of the Survivor episode on Wednesday evening was our management aware of his actions on that episode. We make all decisions such as this one with careful consideration of our clients, employees and our agents."

Varner faced backlash on social media following Wednesday's episode of Survivor: Game Changers as he revealed Smith to be transgender in an attempt to save himself during the tribal council as he felt he was nearing elimination.

"There is deception here. Deceptions on levels, Jeff, that these guys don't even understand," Varner said to Survivor host Jeff Probst. "Why haven't you told anyone that you're transgender?" he continued while looking at Smith.

Varner who had previously appeared on the reality series twice before was then voted off the island before sharing a final hug with Smith.

Smith commented on the moment while penning a guest column for The Hollywood Reporter writing,"Forgiveness does not require friendship. Forgiveness does not require forgetting or excusing his actions. Forgiveness requires hope. Hope that he understands the injury he caused and does not inflict it upon others. Hope that whatever torments his soul will plague him no more."

"I have hope for Jeff Varner. I just choose to hope from afar, thank you very much," he continued.

Varner tweeted an apology stating, "I am deeply saddened at what my mistake unleashed and I promise to use its lessons to do the right thing."



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