Survivor: Game Changers became more than just a game Wednesday night when one contestant crossed a line in the heat of the moment. Jeff Varner was on the chopping block and fighting for his survival during tribal council when he said something that shocked everyone.
After trying to get everyone to vote for Ozzy, Varner turned to Zeke and asked, “Why haven’t you told anyone you’re transgender?” Everyone just sat in stunned silence for a moment. Once they processed what just happened, they all rushed to Zeke’s defense. Everybody started yelling at Varner, saying that he went too far, and it wasn’t his place to out someone as transgender like that.
At first, Varner tried to defend himself, but he soon realized the shameful mistake he made. When Ozzy said, “Jeff, you should be ashamed of yourself,” Varner replied, “I am a little bit.” Varner said that, as a gay man, he fights for the rights of the LGBTQ community in his home state of North Carolina.
Zeke stayed pretty quiet through all of it, as Jeff Probst and the rest of the tribe said plenty for him. When Zeke finally spoke, he did so with the utmost dignity and class as he explained how far he’s come since his first season of Survivor. Zeke said, “I’ve started two fires with just bamboo, I’ve won challenges, I’ve been part of blindsides, I’ve done all kinds of crazy stuff, and I am a changed, stronger, better man today than I was then.” Zeke continued, “So, you know, what? Varner, it’s really not cool, but you know, I’m fine.”
Survivor airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. on CBS.
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