Survivor’s Hali Ford feels sad that Jeff Varner was kicked off
A fellow Survivor contestant has said she is “upset” at the treatment Jeff Varner got as he publicly outed his trans co-contestant Zeke Smith. Varner was kicked out of the show and lost his job. “I’m a little upset how little understanding Jeff is getting,” Ford told PEOPLE, “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.” Host Jeff Probst condemned the outing after kicking Varner off the show for the outing. “It was as if he had been preparing for this absolutely unpredictable, completely public, and incredibly vulnerable moment for his entire life. His composure was astounding,” Probst told Entertainment Weekly, “He wanted to be seen as a ‘Survivor’ player. Not the first transgender ‘Survivor’ player. I really respected that distinction and I understood it,” he adds.