Gym owner faces backlash after posting suggestive video

Gym owner faces backlash after posting suggestive video
Posted at 4:43 PM, Jan 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-01-18 13:03:01-05

BUNCOMBE COUNTY, NC (WLOS/CNN) – A former employee of a North Carolina CrossFit gym is speaking out after the gym’s owner posted a video of female customers in suggestive positions online.

Fallout from the video made by Blue Ridge CrossFit owner Tom Tomlo last Friday morning continues.

"More than half of our staff has quit at this point," said former employee Amanda Turlington, whom Tomlo recorded bent over in workout pants.

Tomlo posted the video of Turlington with the hashtag “blueridgegirls” and a “thumbs-up” emoji.

“It wasn't just me that tried to talk to him,” Turlington said. “It was multiple other people that reached out to him that were like, ‘Tom, this isn't OK.'"

Turlington said she didn’t give Tomlo permission to post the video, and only found out about it later when a friend told her it was on Instagram.

“I don't come to the gym to be sexualized,” Turlington said. “I don't come to the gym to have my body on display."

Tomlo has allegedly used sexual innuendo in social media posts about women exercising at his gym before.

"Tom has a history of tagging our 6 a.m. classes ‘morning wood,’" Turlington said.

Also angering Turlington was Tomlo’s email lashing out at a gym member who exposed the video.

“I have removed your membership,” Tomlo wrote the member. “I understand you must be going through some very difficult things in your life.”

Tomlo also wrote a profanity-laced rant on Facebook regarding the video outing, writing: “This s--- doesn’t fly here.”

Turlington said she’s proud of the fitness she’s worked hard to achieve and of the pictures that showcase her strength, but she’s not proud of what Tomlo did, and has since quit his gym.

“It's a big deal right now in our country that women are taking a stand and we're not silent anymore,” Turlington said. “And because of my position in the gym, I also need to show to everyone how I feel about it and that it's not okay."

Tomlo said the posts were all in fun, and that the current controversy is all just a misunderstanding, even if he is now “regretful” for posting the suggestive video last Friday.

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