Why One Survivor Contestant Is ‘Upset’ by Backlash Jeff Varner Got for Outing Zeke Smith as Transgender
When Jeff Varner outed Zeke Smith as transgender on the April 6 episode of Survivor, Smith’s tribemates — and fans — instantly rallied around the 29-year-old. But now one former cast mate says Varner has paid enough for his actions.
“I’m a little upset how little understanding Jeff is getting,” Hali Ford tells PEOPLE of Varner, who lost his job after the outing aired on TV. “Everyone makes mistakes — and that was a big mistake — but Jeff is an incredible person. Martin Luther King Jr. said, ‘Hate cannot drive out hate — only love can do that.’ I just feel like, in light of Jeff’s circle of hate, we’re just hating on him so hard and I just wish we wouldn’t do that.”
Still, Ford (who was voted out on Wednesday night’s episode of the CBS reality competition) sympathizes with Smith and says the moment he opened up to her about his gender history was “stirring.”
“This is the core of Zeke’s struggle and personal…