LGBT rights group says Jeff Varner revealing Zeke Smith as transgender on reality TV demonstrate was dangerous and unacceptable
A contestant on US reality TV show Survivor has been outed as transgender by a fellow competitor, inspiring online criticism and condemnation by a major LGBT rights group.
Jeff Varner made accusations of a hypocrisy being carried out by Zeke Smith before revealing that Smith was transgender on the Wednesday night episode. Varner was instantly criticised by other contestants. He repeatedly apologised, but was voted out of the rival.
In the episode, which was videotapeed last year, Smith has pointed out that he didnt mention that he was transgender because he didnt want to be known as the trans Survivor player. I wanted to be Zeke the Survivor player.
On the contrary, he now says appearing on Survivor was a stair toward becoming the man he wants to be. He writes in the Hollywood Reporter that by calling him deceptive, Varner invoked one of the most odious stereotypes of transgender people, a stereotype that is often used as a pretext for violence and even slaying.
In extol Zeke is not the guy you think he is and that there is hypocrisy on levels yall dont understand, Varner is saying that Im not really a humankind, Smith continues, and that simply living as my authentic ego is a nefarious trick. In reality, by being Zeke the dude, I am being my most honest ego as is every other transgender person moving about their daily lives.
In a statement on Thursday, CBS mentioned: We have always been guided by the principle that this is his[ Smiths] narrative to tell, and it remains so.
The network also said it had respect for how Jeff Varner carried regret for his mistake on the episode and in interviews.
In the end, we believe this episode, accompanied by Zekes own remarkable writing and speaks to the subject, has provided an unexpected but important dialogue about acceptance and treating transgender people with respect, CBS mentioned.
The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation( Glaad) criticised the jaunt of Smith. Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic egoes, mentioned Nick Adams, director of Glaads transgender media program. It is dangerous and unacceptable to out a transgender person.
Adams noted the demonstrate of support Smith had received since the episodes airing.
Moments like this is proof that where individuals from all strolls of life get to know a transgender person, they accept us for who we are, he mentioned.
Glaad said it worked with Smith and CBS for several months to prepare Smith for the publicity blitz that would accompany the episodes broadcast.
Survivor host Jeff Probst added to the opprobrium against Varner. I cannot imagine anyone thinking what was done to Zeke was OK on any level, under any circumstances, and certainly not simply because there was a million dollars on the line, he told Entertainment Weekly. You merely dont do that to someone.
Varner calls his actions a mistake and said he was deeply saddened.
Let me be clear, outing someone is assault, he said in a tweet. 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.