Formula 1 PR rep claims he was fired over pro-gay tweet

Back in February, it was revealed Lotus was angry over an 'unauthorized' tweet that included two men kissing. But now it is revealed one man could have lost his job over supporting gay rights

Formula 1 PR rep claims he was fired over pro-gay tweet
16 June 2014

A former auto racing marketing rep has claimed he was fired over a pro-gay tweet.

Stephane Samson says in February, right before the start of the Sochi Olympics, he sent out a tweet that led to his firing a month later.

‘Ahead of the opening ceremony, we would like to wish all athletes a successful 2014 Olympic Winter Games,’ the Lotus F1 Team Facebook and Twitter page said, accompanied with a picture of two men kissing.

In a series of posts tweeted over the weekend, the former brand manager for the Lotus Formula 1 racing team said:

‘Just been told I was sacked because of my supporting tweet towards gay athletes at Sochi. Lotus=Putin. Please retweet. People must know,’ he said.

‘So many people asked for it… This is why is was sacked from my position as Group Brand Driector at Lotus.’

In February, the BBC reported the tweet upset top management and shareholders. Investment group Genii Capital – a multi-billion dollar company with significant interests in Russia, owns the team.

On social media, some have attacked Samson for ‘crossing the line’. Some have accused him of making a political statement – which is banned in Formula 1 – or posting something ‘wrong’, ‘too sexual’ or ‘gross’.

But others pointed out the Lotus F1 social media page was known for its acerbic wit and jokey style, as Jalopnik points out. Other sexual pictures, like two squirrels having sex, had been posted on Facebook and Twitter without apparent repercussion.

This morning (16 June), Samson inferred lawyers have been in contact with him and told him to remove the posts.

He said: ‘Sorry guys, some tweets had to disappear… once again!’

It’s impossible to independently verify whether these postings had any influence over his departure from the company and it would therefore be wrong to infer if Lotus did anything wrong without more evidence. It may be as a parting member of staff, his recounting of events may not be reliable.

Therefore, GSN has contacted Lotus and is awaiting a response. 



No thumbnail available

First member of Latin King Goonies gang who tortured gays is sentenced

Nelson Falu is sentenced to seven years in prison for his role in the homophobic torture of three males his gang believed were gay in New York
No thumbnail available

Uganda’s Museveni meets with Obama days after repeal of anti-gay law

Gay activists have said they are 'betrayed' by Obama inviting the Ugandan president to a summit at the White House
No thumbnail available

Quebec family receive threatening note after displaying rainbow pride flag

A family in Longueuil, Canada have received a threatening note warning they would ‘suffer the consequences’ if they didn’t take down an LGBTI rainbow pride flag
No thumbnail available

US Congress recognizes first gay spouse of a member with official ID

Husband of Democratic Congressman Mark Pocan, Philip Frank, has become the first ever same-sex spouse to receive a spousal ID for the US House of Representatives
No thumbnail available

Anna Grodzka, Poland's trans MP, may become deputy parliament speaker

Poland's first transgender MP may soon be elected as the prestigious post of deputy parliament speaker
No thumbnail available

Recently released recording reveals US President Richard Nixon calling Roman emperors 'fags'

In a taped conversation with advisors, President Richard Nixon warned  'homosexuality, and immorality in general, are the enemies of strong societies'
No thumbnail available

Before Stonewall, DOMA heroine Edie Windsor says she was 'this ignorant middle class lady'

She initially wondered: 'I don't see why I have to be identified with those queens'
No thumbnail available

Joburg Pride marred by clashes with gay lie-down protest

An LGBT group clashed with Johannesburg gay pride organizers when they lay down on the route to demand a minute's silence for gay murder victims
No thumbnail available

Vatican bank accused of ‘gay lobby’ cover-up

In the latest Vatican gay sex controversy, a journalist has published details of a high-ranking clergy member caught in ‘compromising situations’
No thumbnail available

Vietnam government scraps gay wedding fines

Gay couples will no longer be fined for getting married, but Ministry of Justice says this is not implicit approval of same-sex marriage