PureGym accused of racism after promoting ‘slavery’ routine for Black History Month
PureGym has attracted criticism for promoting a slavery themed workout for Black History Month.
Outlets of the chain in Luton and Dunstable shared the themed ‘workout of the month’ with the tagline “Slavery was hard and so is this.”
The gym said the routine was based on the film ’12 Years A Slave’, the Daily Star reported.
The gym shared a screenshot of the routine with the caption: “Entitled ’12YearsOfSlave’ (after the epic movie) this is our workout of the month designed by @mattsimpt to celebrate black history month.
“Slavery was hard and so is this.
“The twist to this is 1 rep of your 1st exercise, 2 of the second but before you move on to the 3rd exercise which is also 3 reps you must start at the beginning to move on AND thats how the entire workout goes.”
The regime also required gym goers to do a 100 metre sprint, push ups and pistol squats.
The gym faced a slew of criticism after the post was shared on its Facebook page, before being deleted.
One woman said: “Wow, just wow, I’m gobsmacked that someone thought this was okay to post Pure Gym hope you’ve seen and are taking appropriate action against this.
“Maybe an apology follower by some diversity training to start with.”
Another person added: “I don’t even know where to start on this one. Wrong, insensitive and horrendous on all levels.
“You have no idea what Black History Month actually represents. You should be ashamed.”
A third blasted: “Just wanted to recommend some equality and diversity training seeing as your team clearly need it.”
Another commented: “‘Slavery was hard and so is this’, disgusting use of human exploitation to promote a workout!?
“Absolutely not the same thing, please apologise and have staff do some research before getting a reference SO wrong.”
The routine was based on the Oscar award-winning film ’12 Years A Slave which was directed by Steve McQueen.
The gut-wrenching film tells the true story of Solomon Northup, a black New Yorker who was kidnapped in 1841 and forced to work on a plantation in New Orleans after being sold into slavery.
After regaining his freedom following a legal battle, he returned to his family and wrote a memoir about his harrowing experience – which the film was based on.
Throughout October, BlackHistoryMonth celebrates the incredible achievements and contributions made by black people in the UK.
A PureGym spokeswoman apologised for the statement and said that their gym’s social channels are run locally.
In a statement, the national chain said: “PureGym apologises unreservedly for a post made today by our gym in Luton.
“This post is wholly unacceptable, was not approved or endorsed by the company and was removed as soon as it was brought to our attention.
“Each of our 271 gyms has its own social media channels which are run locally.
“We take this matter extremely seriously and are urgently investigating how and why this post was made.”
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