UK: Lotus F1 Team fired PR head over Russia gay kiss tweet
Lotus F1 Team allegedly fired its PR manager, after he tweeted a picture of two men kissing on the company’s Twitter feed to protest the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia.
The tweet, sent by the official Lotus F1 account on February 7, read: “Ahead of the opening ceremony, we wish all athletes a successful 2014 Olympic Winter Games #Sochi2014”, alongside a picture of two men kissing.
However, it was later pulled down by the Formula 1 racing team, who apologised for the “unauthorised” tweet.
It was announced on March 1 that PR head Stephane Samson had been dismissed from the team.
A letter from Lotus’ lawyers obtained by the Telegraph today reads: “Your client had shown, on more than one occasion, a serious lack of judgement which had a significant negative impact on our client.
“You may be aware that your client posted a tweet on 7 February 2014 on our client’s Twitter feed in relation to the Sochi Winter Olympic Games which he knew (or should have known) could cause serious reputational and financial damage to our client.
“(…)These tweets displayed an astonishing lack of judgement on your client’s part and, in consequence, on our client took the decision to end its relationship with your client.”
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Tweeting earlier this week, Samson had alleged: “Just been told I was sacked because of my supporting tweet towards gay athletes at Sochi. Lotus=Putin. Please retweet. People must know.
“Let’s make #LotusAntiGay trend worldwide!”
However, he later removed the messages, posting: “Sorry guys, some tweets had to disappear… once again!”
Sorry guys, some tweets had to disappear… once again!
— stephane samson (@stephanesamson) June 16, 2014
Lotus is owned by Genii Capital, which has business interests in Russia, and the team is sponsored by Russian phone manufacturer YotaPhone.
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