I was watching Tv with my wife this evening. she watches Survivor and I often watch with her. I don't normally write about television but this was different.
I'll assume most people are familiar with the show. Each episode ends with something called Tribal Council where a member of a tribe is voted off the main contest in the show. There was a guy by the name of Jeff Varner at the bottom of the heap who knew he'd probably be voted off and he was doing what he could to stay on. A tactic he used was to say that another cast member, Zeke Smith, wasn't being honest with everyone. He gave a couple of examples, including one that was unexpected:
He outed Zeke as trans.
Zeke is gay, which came up the previous season, but he was not out as trans. Varner figured Zeke wasn't out to the cast but apparently assumed he was out in his real life. However, aside from a few friends and family who knew him during his transition, Zeke was not generally out. He didn't want to be because he wanted to be judged on the show including by viewers as a contestant, not as "the trans guy."
Everyone there except Zeke, who sat there looking shell-shocked, turned on Varner immediately, particularly Jeff Probat, the host. As might be expected, Varner was voted off, by acclimation rather than by the usual secret ballot method.
What I haven't been able to find out yet is how the producers concluded they wanted to air this. Everything I've seen so far treats this as live television, which it's not, except for the final results show.
I've watched a lot of Survivor over the years. I've never seen anything like this. (I would assume the other tribe is unaware of this, and so I guess I'll watch to see if it comes up again and, if so, how.)
I'm guessing there will be a lot of press over this. There already is. If you happen to read about the decision to air and how it was done, please comment. That had to be an interesting process.