- A video showed a TikToker calling a man a “weirdo” for appearing to glance at her in the gym.
- The video was widely criticized, including by fitness influencer Joey Swoll.
- After the backlash, the TikToker apologized for what she called a “gross mistake.”
A TikToker apologized after she received an onslaught of backlash for a video calling a man a “weirdo” while she filmed him interacting with her in the gym.
The influencer, Jessica Fernandez, has over 625,000 followers on TikTok, where she posts lifestyle and beauty clips, and 55,000 on Twitch, where she streams gaming content. Many of her videos are lighthearted, and she has a popular series on TikTok where she eats pomegranates.
The video that sparked criticism isn’t visible on her channel anymore, but it was reposted and critiqued by Joey Swoll, the self-anointed “CEO of GYM POSITIVITY” who has over 6 million TikTok followers.
—Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 21, 2023
In the clip, Fernandez can be seen working out at a gym and calling attention to a man behind her, who appeared to be glancing in her direction.
She muttered expletives at him under her breath, and said, “I hate this, I hate when there’s weirdos.”
“Feral, feral, feral, like fucking feral,” she said out loud. At one point, the man walked over to her and appeared to ask if she needed help putting a weight plate onto the pole, which she declined. She then wrote a series of captions on the screen, including “this is why I don’t want kids” and “what if I just ripped his pp out of its socket so he could never reproduce again.”
In his response video, Swoll said it’s very common for experienced lifters to offer assistance to other people in the gym and said it has “nothing to do with sex or gender.”
He also said there’s “a big difference between staring at somebody, and simply looking or glancing at them.”
Swoll’s video gained traction on Twitter, garnering over 14 million views and 320,000 likes, and brought a crowd of people similarly critiquing Fernandez’s actions in the comments section. His video also gained over 4 million views on TikTok, where it was captioned, “Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them.”
Comments sections under her recent TikToks are full of comments reading “DO BETTER” and saying Swoll exposed her. She has turned the comments off on her last three clips.
After the mass backlash, Fernandez posted an apology statement on Twitter Tuesday saying she blew the interaction with the man at the gym “out of proportion” and was feeling very guilty.
—Jessica49 (@Jessicafrndz) January 24, 2023
“I think it’s important to call people out on their mistakes and in the words of Joey help them ‘Do better,'” she wrote, referencing Swoll. “This is exactly what I plan to do with not just my content but my life moving forward.”
Fernandez, who did not respond to Insider’s request for comment, ended the letter by saying she would be taking a break from social media until she was in the right condition to keep making content.