Sam Johnson VisuWell CEO fired for harassing male prom attendee Dalton Stevens wearing dress. Unfolding scene was filmed by senior’s boyfriend, Jacob Geitmann.
A Tennessee CEO was fired after TikTok video seemingly showed him accosting a teenage boy for wearing a dress to his prom.
Former VisuWell executive Sam Johnson, 46, was filmed telling the boy he looked like an ‘idiot’ at the prom near Nashville on Saturday.
The executive denied the allegations, despite footage showing him making the disparaging remarks.
The boy, Dalton Stevens, 18, told NBC News he wore the dress as a statement to prove that ‘clothing is really gender-less’ and ‘that it has no meaning’, in an interview on Monday.
The Nashville high school senior told the broadcaster he was harassed by Johnson while taking pictures with his boyfriend Jacob Geitmann, who later posted the exchange on TikTok.
Homophobic POS in Tennessee harasses a teenager for wearing a dress to prom pic.twitter.com/Ftt2a184jX
— Fifty Shades of Whey (@davenewworld_2) April 26, 2021
‘you shouldn’t be wearing a dress’
‘I explained [why I was wearing the dress] to him and he continued to just call me names and just follow me’, Stevens explained.
He said the young couple first noticed Johnson making ‘homophobic’ comments within the pairs earshot.
The telemedicine CEO then approached Stevens and Geitmann and questioned why the 18-year-old had chosen to wear a dress.
Johnson later allegedly told Stevens ‘you have hair on your chest, you shouldn’t be wearing a dress’.
Geitmann then took out his phone and started filming the exchange, during which Johnson said he thought the 18-year-old senior looked ‘disgusting’.
In the footage, Stevens can he heard telling Johnson: ‘I chose what I want to wear so you can f*** off’.
Johnson then tells Stevens: ‘Is that right? You look like and idiot’.
‘I’m sorry, I’m gorgeous’, CEO responds, ‘are you?’
While Geitmann is filming, Johnson apparently tries to knock the phone out of his hand, but ends up hitting Stevens.
At one point, people can be heard pleading with Johnson to ‘stop.’
‘It’s a special night,’ one says to Johnson.
At the end of the 45-second footage, Stevens can be heard telling Johnson, ‘I’m sorry, I’m gorgeous’, to which he responds, ‘are you?’.
It’s unclear what happened before Geitmann started recording.
Franklin police responded to the incident, but Johnson ‘denied any involvement in the confrontation’, Lieutenant Charles Warner said.
Johnson told Newsweek: ‘We had just sat down for dinner at this restaurant that we frequent, and i was returning from the restroom when I was presented with their loud cursing,
‘Making it about the dress was their idea and they edited out most of the exchange’.
Police requested Johnson settle his bill with the hotel and leave.
Warner said officers would not be investigating the incident unless the couple chose to press charges.
Johnson deleted his Twitter account, @SJohnsonTN, after the video began to go viral on social media on April 25. A cached version of the account shows some of his tweets. On February 21, 2021, Johnson tweeted, ‘The mask theater needs to go bye-bye.’ Johnson’s Twitter bio read, ‘I’ll never know you electronically nor do I want to. – pronouns: thee/thou/thine 😂’
Before announcing Johnson had been removed from his position, VisuWell had faced calls on social media for the company to speak out about Johnson and to cut ties with their CEO. Geittmann tweeted the video at VisuWell and wrote, ‘you gonna address this publicly? not a good look!’
VisuWell in firing its CEO in a statement on twitter stated: ‘We unequivocally condemn the behavior exhibited by Sam Johnson in a recent video widely circulated on social media.
‘After investigating the matter and speaking to individuals involved, the VisuWell BOD has chosen to terminate Mr. Johnson from his position as CEO, effective immediately.
‘VisuWell’s culture emphasizes respect, kindness, and compassion, especially for those from traditionally marginalized communities, and we maintain a zero-tolerance policy for intolerance of any kind.
‘Mr. Johnson’s actions contradicted the high standards we set for ourselves in promoting the health of those who use our platform.’
The company removed Johnson from his post after facing calls on Twitter to terminate his contract. A ‘Meet out CEO’ page has since been removed from the VisuWell website.