Kathy Griffin Helps Make (Now Former) CEO 'Online Famous' after He Harasses Gay Prom Couple

by Kilian Melloy

EDGE Staff Reporter

Tuesday April 27, 2021

Sam Johnson
Sam Johnson  (Source:Screencap/Jacob Geittmann/Twitter)

The (now former) CEO of a telemedicine company has become "online famous" after video of him harassing a gay teenager went viral - and Kathy Griffin helped boost his notoriety.

Griffin reposted a video at Twitter in which a middle-aged man follows and harasses a teen boy wearing a red prom dress. Griffin mused in her tweet, "it seems like he's dying to be online famous."

The video of the April 24 incident, which took place in Tennessee, shows Sam Johnson, 46, following high school senior Dalton Stevens around and insulting him for wearing the dress. Stevens can be heard shouting multiple times for Johnson to "get away" and leave him alone, while other people can be heard apparently trying to get Johnson to back off.

"It's prom, they're kids, a bunch of kids - come on, dude," a male voice says, while a woman can be heard imploring, "Stop, stop, stop, please."

Stevens' boyfriend, Jacob Geittmann, "originally posted the video on TikTok and then on Twitter," GlobIntel reports.

Geittmann, the site reports, explained that Stevens "wore the dress 'for his senior prom to kind of break the stigma around men wearing dresses. He looked gorgeous, everybody loved it and nobody had a problem with it.' "

Johnson told Newsweek that Gittmann's version of events was " 'entirely false,' " and claimed "the confrontation 'wasn't anything personal or involving a dress,' rather 'about obnoxious, loud behavior by this group of teens.' "

"Making it about the dress was their idea and they edited out most of the exchange," Johnson said.

Newsweek relayed Geitmann's description of the incident: "This man comes up, stands about an inch behind my boyfriend and asks 'What are you wearing?' and he's like 'A dress, why?' and he's like 'Well why are you wearing that? You shouldn't be wearing that.' "

Geittmann started taking video as the encounter continued. He can be heard telling Johnson that he "can f-ckin' record you all I want," and inviting Johnson to "Keep talking." At one point Johnson seems to attempt to swat the phone Geittmann is using to record the incident.

Hotel workers stepped in, Newsweek reports, at which point, Geittmann says, Johnson "pretends like he has absolutely no clue what's going on, he's standing there, he's like 'I've just been standing here the whole time, I don't know what's going on, I didn't try to talk to them, I didn't hit them, I didn't try to smack his phone out of his hand.' "

Nashville news channel WZTV reported that Visuwell, a telemedicine company, axed Johnson as the company's CEO.

The company announced the firing in an April 27 tweet.

Griffith was not ready to let the company off the hook and sent out a followup tweet asking about Johnson's place on the Visuwell Board of Directors.

Kilian Melloy serves as EDGE Media Network's Associate Arts Editor and Staff Contributor. His professional memberships include the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, the Boston Online Film Critics Association, The Gay and Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association, and the Boston Theater Critics Association's Elliot Norton Awards Committee.