Survivor‘s Jeff Varner Formally Apologizes To Zeke Smith For Outing Him As Transgender — But Has His Apology Been Accepted?

jeff apologizes to zeke

Jeff Varner couldn’t feel worse about outing fellow Survivor contestant Zeke Smith as a transgender man.

As we previously reported, Mr. Smith came out as transgender ahead of Wednesday’s episode of Survivor: Game Changers as he knew footage of a fellow contestant outing him would air on national TV. Since then, Jeff has identified himself as the peer who tried to paint Zeke as “deceitful” for not being upfront with this personal detail. It’s a moment he is NOT proud of.

Related: North Carolina Lawmakers Are Attempting To Ban Same-Sex Marriage!

On Thursday, Jeff has formally apologized to his reality TV peer as he wrote on Twitter:

Now that’s an apology. Nonetheless, Zeke still struggles with fully accepting Jeff’s apology… and we don’t blame him.

In case you missed the episode, after the 50-year-old outed the Brooklyn-based asset manager, he was quickly rebuffed by the others in the tribe. Once realizing he was in the wrong, Jeff apologized to Zeke and pulled him in for a hug.

While Smith accepted the apology in the moment, he’s struggled quite a bit in the months following the show.

Zeke explained to People:

“In the moment, it felt like the right thing to do was accept his apology and say that we’d find a way to work it out, but I don’t really ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ I really struggle with forgiving him every day. I’ve had to think a lot about what forgiveness is. Forgiveness is not forgetting what happened. It’s not excusing what happened. I don’t even think forgiveness means I have to be his friend ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ and I don’t think I ever will be his friend.

But I think forgiveness is about hope ├óΓé¼ΓÇ£ hope that he understands why what he did was wrong, hope that he doesn’t ever do something like this again and hope that whatever compelled him to give into his worst instincts in a dark moment is resolved for him. I do wish him the best, I just think I wish him the best from afar.”

Fair enough. In regards to whether or not he thinks his costar “hates” the trans community, Smith noted:

“It’s tough with Varner. I don’t think he hates trans people. I just think he has a lot of misconceptions about trans people. I think if he wants to be an ally to trans people, he has a long way to go…I think you see this tactic used a lot by politicians to pass these so-called bathroom bills and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that he’s from North Carolina, where the most dangerous of these bathroom bills was passed.”

In fact, since Jeff is a gay man, Zeke expected more from him. He continued:

“I think the hardest part is that if he was just some ignorant bigot, you could just write him off, but he’s not. He knows better. I think because he’s gay, people give his words a little more weight and I don’t know if he believes what he said ├óΓé¼ΓÇ¥ but he definitely hoped others would.”

What do YOU think? Would you be able to forgive someone who revealed a personal detail about yourself?

SOUND OFF in the comments (below)!

[Image via CBS/YouTube.]

Apr 13, 2017 9:45am PDT

More Like This