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Zeke Smith on how ‘Survivor’ handled his outing

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Smith said the show has been supportive

He said he's proud of how he's handled the outing

CNN —  

Zeke Smith is talking about being outed as transgender on the CBS reality competition “Survivor: Game Changers.”

Appearing on “The Talk” Thursday, Smith said while he didn’t anticipate being outed by another contestant, “Survivor” producers have given him “unprecedented autonomy in how I wanted to tell my story.”

“We started having conversations all the way back in Fiji nine months ago about the care with which this episode was going to be handled,” he said. “I came to Jeff [Probst] and asked if I could write a personal essay about what happened and he immediately said yes.”

Zeke Smith outed as transgender on ‘Survivor’

He said he didn’t initially tell the show’s casting team he was transgender.

“That was developed later in our relationship,” said Smith, who appeared on back to back seasons of “Survivor.” “I had a chat with Jeff Probst [the show’s host] in which we agreed if, how, and when I’m gonna talk about this part of my life, it’s gonna be up to me, as opposed to being outed by a fellow contestant.”