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Jeff Varner Says 'Unedited' Survivor Footage Explains Why He Outed Transgender Contestant Zeke Smith — And Jeff Probst Reacts To The 'Surreal' Moment!

Filed under: TV NewsTherapyReality TVEducationalTransgenderControversyLGBT

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Jeff Varner says there was no excuse for outing fellow Survivor: Game Changers contestant Zeke Smith as transgender in this week's episode.

But the veteran player insists that context behind his invasive question at Tribal Council was much clearer in the unedited footage.

The 50-year-old went on SiriusXM's Entertainment Weekly Radio on Thursday and explained that he has been changed "drastically" by the mortifying incident.

Varner said he has been through "I don't know how much therapy" after getting voted off the island, and commended Smith for his repeated forgiveness.

Related: The Fosters Features A Transgender Romance

Still, the former realtor wishes the CBS series releases "unedited footage" of the incident to reveal the moments leading up to his awful inquiry to Smith, "Why haven't you told anyone here you're transgender?"

Varner explained that he was trying to paint Smith as "deceitful," and the edited footage didn't catch the contestant saying "there is no deception, I'm not deceiving anyone" right before Varner's question "just came out."

Needless to say, the pointed question shook the entire tribe — including Jeff Probst, who was so taken back by the moment that his brain "had to rewind and play it back."

The longtime host told EW he was also outraged by the question, branding the incident as "one of the most raw and painful studies of human behavior that has ever happened on Survivor." He shared:

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