Mr. Gay World 2021, Louw Breytenbach, has resigned after contractual disagreements with the pageant's organizers.
Breytenbach, 31, won the competition in October, but the South African human rights activist refused to sign the final contract to be Mr. Gay World, according to the South African newspaper The Citizen.
In a statement provided to The Citizen by Breytenbach's publicist, Gavin Wildschutt-Prins, the relationship between Breytenbach and Mr. Gay World's CEO John-Louis O'Neil and chairperson Johann van Niekerk had eroded.
At the center of the issue is whoever is Mr. Gay World must use the organization as his exclusive agent for bookings and acting roles, reports the paper.
However, Breytenbach said he already has an agent for TV. "I don't need them to manage whatever TV opportunities I get. My suggestion was that they manage me based on opportunities pertaining to the pageant and my role as Mr. Gay World," he said.
Breytenbach also claimed there was remuneration mentioned in the original contract, but not in later amended ones. He also said the contract was vague.
If Breytenbach left the pageant, there would be about a $5,640 penalty.
"This penalty is unlawful. What if they are in breach of contract, should I still pay the penalty? This does not make sense," Breytenbach said.
He continued that he was also concerned with the group's "inability to be audited when they refused to divulge how funds are used for the Mr. Gay World Foundation."
"I think it is my right to know what happens to [the] money that I raise for the organization in my capacity as Mr. Gay World. Who is benefiting from all of [these] sponsorships?" he asked.
Breytenbach said that the organization had demanded he tag Mr. Gay World in events they did not provide funds for such as when Breytenbach led a Pride march in Namibia.
"I am disappointed as I really thought the Mr. Gay World competition was a platform I could use to broaden my charity work. I also thought they had the interests of the LGBTQI+ community at heart. Sadly, I was wrong."
In response, Mr. Gay World provided a statement to The Citizen rebuking Breytenbach's claims. The group said that those claims include "a series of defamatory allegations about the organization and its officials."
"We strongly refute these allegations and thoroughly reject Mr. Breytenbach's version of the events as described," the statement read. "Mr. Gay World is meeting with its legal team to decide what steps to take and will not issue any further comment for the moment."