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Greensboro’s Jeff Varner fired from real estate job after outing transgender contestant on TV’s ‘Survivor’

Survivor: Game Changers contestant Jeff Varner has been fired from his job after outing fellow castaway Zeke Smith as transgender.

Varner told Entertainment Tonight recently that he was fired from his North Carolina real estate job in “an ugly, knee-jerk reaction kind of way.”

“I was devastated (and not) given the chance to explain or right the wrong,” he said about being let go from Allen Tate Real Estate. “I didn’t even find out from my company. Suddenly, my real estate license was inactive and my current clients (were) left in the dark. It took hours after my press junket (for Survivor) to get anyone with the company on the phone to tell me personally, and even longer to calm my clients. … My former boss told me that I was in a news story they wanted nothing to do with.”

Varner told Entertainment Tonight he’s talking to other real estate firms.

Since outing Smith during tribal council in the episode that aired earlier this month, Varner has apologized, calling the outing “the worst decision of my life.”

Pat Riley, president and CEO of Allen Tate Companies released this statement Monday:

The Allen Tate Companies were built on core values of honesty, integrity and respect. Those fundamental beliefs led us to end our relationship with Mr. Varner, a real estate agent who had become affiliated with our firm just 17 days earlier. To be clear, at no time before the airing of the Survivor episode on Wednesday evening was our management aware of his actions on that episode.  We make all decisions such as this one with careful consideration of our clients, employees and our agents.