In case you haven't heard the Nashville story getting national attention:
The CEO of a Tennessee telemedicine company was fired after a viral video reportedly showed him harassing a teenage boy in a prom dress.
But more on his defense coming up and another police bombshell.
First a little backstory.
Dalton Stevens and his boyfriend Jacob Geittman were taking photos at Harpeth Hotel in Franklin ahead of their prom when a man, later identified as Sam Johnson, came up to the couple and ridiculed Stevens for wearing a dress to the formal event.
Stevens, a senior at Franklin High School, views clothing as genderless, but he said Johnson was telling him "you look bad" and "you're not a man" simply because he was wearing a floor-length red gown.
"I was very confident," said Stevens. "I knew that I felt beautiful, and I felt great."
The video below shows the man following the teen as he attempts to walk away. Warning: the video contains language that may offend some viewers.
Now, the unemployed CEO of VisuWell (telemedicine company based in Nashville) has out a defense for his actions.
Here's the transcript local News Station WKRN released of their correspondence with Sam Johnson.
News 2: Was this incident about Dalton’s attire?
Johnson: Absolutely not. It had nothing at all to do with his attire. It was all about their behavior originally. They made it about the attire. They were being obnoxious and profane in one of my favorite restaurants. Many of us in the restaurant were appalled and I was the only one willing to say something about it.
Johnson (cont.): If you visit the facility, the direction I was walking (in the video) is toward the restaurant door. I was calmly leaving the scene, when they intentionally escalated the conversation.
News 2: Many people/comments have called you “homophobic”. How do you feel about that?
Johnson: There’s not a homophobic ounce in me at all. I employed gay and transgender people.
Johnson (cont.): I already apologized to Dalton for calling him an “idiot” on Twitter private message, but he has not responded.
News 2:What has this done to your family?
Johnson: My family is under severe attack right now, but we are all determined to not allow cancel culture to win. We have a right to stand for decency and morality.
News 2: Is there anything else you want people to know?
Johnson: I want them to know that I intend to continue just as I was before, active in my community, defender of my family, and a proponent of decency.
It's also been discovered that the incident prompted hotel staff to call Franklin police to remove an "unwanted person". But who did they want removed? The boy in the dress? Or Sam Johnson?
When police arrived, staff pointed to Sam Johnson and said he was the one they needed ejected from the premises. When questioned, police say he denied being involved in any incident with the teens.