(LAB) Sam Johnson the now-former CEO of the Franklin-based telemedicine company VisuWell, was fired by the company Monday evening after an investigation into Johnson’s homophobic tirade against a local male LGBT high school student Saturday evening.
ABC News affiliate WKRN 2 had first reported the story Monday after a cell phone video posted to multiple social media platforms went viral. In the video taken Saturday evening at the Harpeth Hotel in downtown Franklin, Dalton Stevens, a senior at Franklin High School, was with his boyfriend and date Jacob Geittman when Johnson walked up to Stevens and ridiculed him for his formal prom attire, a red full-length dress.
“Slander terms thrown towards me of like ‘You look bad,’ ‘You’ve got hair on your chest, you shouldn’t be wearing a dress,’ ‘You’re not a man,’ blah, blah, blah,” Stevens told WKRN. “The fact that he thought he had the audacity to come tell me what I was supposed to wear and what I was supposed to do because of his standards.”
Stevens told the station that, “I very much view clothes as genderless,” His boyfriend chimed in with “You can have your thoughts and opinions, [but] keep them to yourself,” Geittman said. “You don’t need to go up to a teenager in public on their prom night and publicly shame and harass them for what they decided to wear.”
"I knew that I felt beautiful, and I felt great," Stevens said.
In a series of tweets on the company’s Twitter account, VisuWell issued a formal statement then added that “in response to those asking for additional clarity on Sam Johnson’s termination as CEO, we can confirm that Mr. Johnson is no longer employed by VisuWell in any capacity. He no longer has a position on the Board of Directors or any informal advisory role. His behavior was not representative of our values, which include respect and compassion for all.”