CEO Sam Johnson of VisuWell was fired after videos had surfaced of Johnson making comments to Dalton Stevens, a senior at Franklin High School, for wearing a dress to prom, WGN 9 reported Tuesday.
Steven's said he very much views "clothes as genderless. Stevens and his boyfriend, Jacob Geittman, were at the Harpeth Hotel in Franklin, Tenn. when Johnson approached them. According to a clip on Twitter, Johnson told Stevens he looked "like an idiot."
Stevens commented about the exchange between him and Johnson saying, Johnson made"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."
Following the firing of Johnson, VisuWell released this statement on Twitter:
"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. Gerry Andrady, our President and COO, will lead the company through this important time.
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."
According to Newsweek, Geittman said of Johnson that he was intoxicated. And following the incident, hotel workers had expelled him from the premises and called the police.
Johnson claims the allegations were "entirely false," saying that he asked the group to "tone down the vulgarities around the families and children who were present."
"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," he added. "Making it about the dress was their idea and they edited out most of the exchange...I have no ill will towards anyone or their personal choices, so long as it does not harm me or my family."