Less than two months after he was crowned Mr. Gay World 2021, South African human rights activist Louw Breytenbach has relinquished his title.
The 31-year-old, who won the honor on October 30, said in a statement from his publicist that his relationship with the Mr. Gay World organization “deteriorated” over contractual disputes.
Apparently, the contract stipulates that Mr. Gay World must be his exclusive agent when he lands any bookings or acting roles. But Breytenbach argues he already has an agent for television roles.
“I don’t need them to manage whatever TV opportunities I get,” said the LGBTQ activist. “My suggestion was that they manage me based on opportunities pertaining to the pageant and my role as Mr. Gay World.”
Breytenbach also alleges the initial contract sent to him mentioned “remuneration,” but the document was vague regarding any details. When he was sent an amended version, all mention of remuneration had apparently been removed.
He also says the contract, which he refused to sign, stipulated if Breytenbach should step down as Mr. Gay World for any reason, a penalty of €5,000 would apply. “This penalty is unlawful,” said Breytenbach. “What if they are in breach of contract, should I still pay the penalty? This does not make sense.”
Additionally, Breytenbach’s statement also shared his concerns over the organization’s “inability to be audited when they refused to divulge how funds are used for the Mr Gay World Foundation.”
“I think it is my right to know what happens to [the] money that I raise for the organization in my capacity as Mr Gay World. Who is benefiting from all of [these] sponsorships?”
According to The Citizen, Breytenbach says he was concerned his image was being “abused.”
“I am disappointed as I really thought the Mr Gay World competition was a platform I could use to broaden my charity work. I also thought they had the interests of the LGBTQI+ community at heart. Sadly, I was wrong.”
The Mr. Gay World organization issued a statement in response to Breytenbach’s allegations:
Mr Gay World confirms it has received the resignation of the current titleholder, Louw Breytenbach from South Africa, following a contractual dispute, despite our best attempts to resolve the matter amicably and reasonably.
We also note the unfortunate press release issued on Mr Breytenbach’s behalf which includes a series of defamatory allegations about the organisation and its officials.
We strongly refute these allegations and thoroughly reject Mr Breytenbach’s version of the events as described. Mr Gay World is meeting with its legal team to decide what steps to take and will not issue any further comment for the moment.