A viral video taken by a gay couple in Nashville celebrating their prom has become a national story with Kathy Griffin calling out a CEO for his homophobia.
As reported in Newsweek magazine, this past weekend Sam Johnson, the CEO of a Tennessee online medical company VisuWell, began harassing two high-schoolers at a local Nashville hotel because one of them was wearing a dress. Tennessee is one of several Republican controlled states that has recently passed anti-LGBTQ legislation including barring transgender female athletes from competing on gender-affirming teams.
In the video recorded by one of the high-schoolers on Tik-Tok, high school senior Dalton Stevens is heard telling Johnson: “I chose what I wanna wear so you can f*** off,” after which Johnson responds: “Is that right?” Stevens then walks away from Johnson, who subsequently follows, stands near the high schooler and says: “You look like an idiot.” The distressed teenager shouts “F*** off” at Johnson and “Get the f*** away from me.”
Johnson then appears to try smacking the phone of Stevens’ boyfriend Jacob Geittmann. In a pair of TikTok videos giving his side of the story, Geittman said Johnson swung at his phone and missed, instead hitting Stevens on the back.
The video ends with off-camera voices of appears to be adults pleading with a smiling Johnson to stop, with one telling him: “It’s just prom. It’s kids, it’s a bunch of kids. Come on, dude.”
If this is Sam Johnson in Nashville, Tennessee, the CEO of @VisuWell, healthcare-tech-growth strategist, married to Jill Johnson where they may reside in Franklin, Tennessee, it seems like he’s dying to be online famous. 🤷♀️🏳️🌈🤷♀️ https://t.co/GPYOYBQywv
— Kathy Griffin (@kathygriffin) April 26, 2021
When the teens’ video went viral gay ally Kathy Griffin took to Twitter to publicly shame Johnson and call him out on his homophobia, and the rest of the Twitterverse followed suit. With an outpouring of support for the gay couple, pressure was building for TruWell to take action against their CEO and yesterday it is reported that the board of directors has terminated Johnson due to his actions.
🚨UPDATE: Homphobe who harassed Franklin High LGBT kids at prom Terminated 👇🏽@VisuWell thank you for doing the right thing. Everyone deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. 🏳️🌈 https://t.co/y7MyTOrBjC
— The Tennessee Holler (@TheTNHoller) April 26, 2021
Score one for the good guys!
Source: Newsweek, Twitter