Survivor contestant Jeff Varner’s ugly decision to out competitor Zeke Smith as transgender during Wednesday night’s episode didn’t just get him removed from the reality show, without the other contestants even bothering to vote; it’s also caused him to lose his job back in the “real world.” Variety reports that Varner was fired from his North Carolina real estate agent’s job shortly after the episode—which was filmed last year in Fiji, and which showed him outing Smith in an effort to paint him as “deceptive”—aired earlier this week.
Varner’s local paper, the Greensboro News & Record, says Varner was told he was being fired for being “in the middle of a news story that” his employers “don’t want anything to do with.” Varner, who’s gay, and who said he’s spent the last ten months educating himself and working to promote LGBTQ issues, was roundly denounced after the episode aired, including a statement from GLAAD. “Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person,” the organization’s Transgender Media Program director said. “It is heartening, however, to see the strong support for Zeke from the other people in his tribe. Moments like this prove that when people from all walks of life get to know a transgender person, they accept us for who we are.”