A Tennessee CEO has been ousted from his post after a viral video showed the man harassing a gay teenager for wearing a dress to his high school prom.
For Sam Johnson—the now-former CEO of telemedicine company VisuWell—the last 24 hours have been a nosedive fueled by a video capturing his homphobic harassment of a teenager.
The video went viral on multiple social media platforms and put Johnson in the crosshairs of widespread online outrage.
You can see the video part 1 and 2 here:
pt. 1 https://t.co/bgQLyMMVcE— Jacob Geittmann (@Jacob Geittmann) 1619379023.0
pt. 2 https://t.co/H4btpHU0z1— Jacob Geittmann (@Jacob Geittmann) 1619379203.0
Even celebrity queer advocate Kathy Griffin used her platform to spread the word about what Johnson had done.
Once Griffin heard about the incident, she used her massive following to rapidly raise awareness about the VisuWell CEO's behavior.
If this is Sam Johnson in Nashville, Tennessee, the CEO of @VisuWell, healthcare-tech-growth strategist, married to… https://t.co/mwBVCjvINK— Kathy Griffin (@Kathy Griffin) 1619415923.0
According to NBC News, the teenager wearing the dress was 18-year-old high school senior Dalton Stevens. He chose a bright red dress for prom to show "clothing is really genderless" and "it has no meaning."
@frazzled31 it was my beautiful boyfriend wearing the dress but I’m more than happy to share some pics!! https://t.co/DmSdG4uOKj— Jacob Geittmann (@Jacob Geittmann) 1619421514.0
But as Stevens' boyfriend, Jacob Geittmann told LGBTQ Nation, trouble began when Johnson approached as the teens were taking their pre-prom photos.
"We went to this hotel close to where we live and we got a lot of good photos and we were there for about an hour and right as we were about to leave we were standing outside in this little middle area with a bunch of buildings surrounding us."
"This man comes up and he's about an inch away from [Stevens] and he says, 'What are you wearing?' And he's like, 'A dress, why?' And he's like, 'Why are you wearing that? You shouldn't be wearing that.' "
Johnson then launched into "homophobic banter," delivering more pointed attacks against Stevens.
"You look disgusting, you look ridiculous, you look like an idiot. Men shouldn't be wearing this."
Geittmann decided to begin recording Johnson, who clearly became more bashful once the camera was pointed at him.
Geittmann posted the clip to TikTok, where it quickly captured the attention and outrage of countless people.
It then made its way to other sites like Twitter and Reddit.
One dress sparked a nationwide response. Check out my story, and what’s happened since it aired last night! @WKRN https://t.co/YzvuVPC3Lz— ValenciaNews2 (@ValenciaNews2) 1619549387.0
Comments about the video included support for the young couple.
@jacobgeittmann2 I’m so sorry he harassed you both on your special night. Please tell your boyfriend he looked beautiful. ❤️— Anne B (@Anne B) 1619411325.0
@jacobgeittmann2 Just saw the videos. I am sorry this terrible person attacked you on what should have been a special night.— t8rman (@t8rman) 1619440710.0
Others showed a keen desire to find out who the homophobic man was.
This was before the world knew it was Sam Johnson.
@davenewworld_2 Please tell me we have found out where this bully works?— Maddog (@Maddog) 1619416312.0
@davenewworld_2 Certainly appears to be this guy. Guess the @VisuWell telehealth platform is not for everyone. https://t.co/5UpnmpuEuZ— Are we there yet? 🏳️🌈🍻🚴♀️🇺🇸 (@Are we there yet? 🏳️🌈🍻🚴♀️🇺🇸) 1619432710.0
A statement from Visuwell came out after Johnson's identity was confirmed.
Official Statement https://t.co/cMYoAEbI9d— Visuwell (@Visuwell) 1619515422.0
Their official statement is also the current landing page for Visuwell's official website.
People were glad to see the company's swift action.
@VisuWell Good on you. It’s the appropriate action— Justin Van Dyk (@Justin Van Dyk) 1619520756.0
@VisuWell As long as he is no longer in anyway associated with your Company then Well Done— Joe Gomez (@Joe Gomez) 1619524931.0
@VisuWell Excellent https://t.co/hg9rYevMsz— gc3 (@gc3) 1619526415.0
Hopefully Stevens and Geittmann still managed to have a wonderful prom night despite Johnson's harassment ahead of the event.