The Wednesday night's episode of the long-running reality competition "Survivor" became notorious when one of the show's contestant outed a fellow contestant for being transgender.
Varner, who is gay, shared the information during an emotional Tribal Council on "Survivor: Game Changers".
Varner, apparently suspecting he would be voted out, made accusations of "a deception" before revealing that Smith is transgender on the episode.
Varner has since been condemned by GLAAD with the LGBTQ rights organization working with CBS and Smith to have the proper responses in place for the episode airing.
"Zeke Smith, and transgender people like him, are not deceiving anyone by being their authentic selves, and it is unsafe and unacceptable to out a transgender person", the group added.
"I got to a point where I stopped telling people, because when people know that about you, that's sort of who you are", Smith said.
'I would never say or do anything to hurt anyone here, ' Varner claimed.
On Zeke's calm reaction to the outing, Probst commented, "I was also very impressed with the compassion Zeke showed Varner". Smith wrote. "I remember distinctly Jeff Probst's opening line, 'You are watching 20 Americans begin an adventure that will forever change their lives.' I was hooked". It was something nobody seemed to know ... certainly not the 8 million people who do still watch Survivor. "But this is a unique situation that falls outside the normal boundaries", Probst said. "Keeping your gender history private is not the same as a gay person being 'in the closet'".
Varner told the show's presenter and his team-mates: "There is deception here", before turning to Smith and asking: "Why haven't you told anyone that you're transgender?".
After Jeff Varnar outed the asset manager as transgender on Wednesday's Survivor, the I Am Cait star, 67, tweeted her support for Smith. "It robs a strong, courageous person of their power and protection and opens them up to discrimination and danger".
In a lengthy column for the Hollywood Reporter, Smith - a who was previously a contest on the show during Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X - said he had forgiven Varner. I give him all the space in the world to do that. Forgiveness does not require forgetting or excusing his actions. "Hope that whatever torments his soul will plague him no more", he continued.
"But I think forgiveness is about hope - 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", he continues.