Fitness centre operator PureGym has apologised “unreservedly” for an “unacceptable” Facebook post from one of its gyms about slavery.
The Luton and Dunstable gym said “slavery was hard and so is this” regarding a workout designed to “celebrate black history month”.
In a statement PureGym said the post was “wholly unacceptable” and “was not approved or endorsed by the company”.
PureGym added it was removed “as soon as it was brought to our attention”.
The company is the UK’s largest gym chain by membership.
The workout, entitled “12 Years of Slave” after the Oscar-winning movie with a similar title, included 12 different moves such as burpees, push ups and box jumps.
Many users responded angrily to the gym’s Facebook post with one saying PureGym had an “offensively tone-deaf marketing team” while another said it was “wrong, insensitive and horrendous on all levels”.
In 2014, supermarket chain Sainsbury’s was slated after one of its stores used a mannequin dresses in replica costumes used by Chiewetel Ejiofor’s character in the movie 12 Years A Slave to advertise the movie.
A shocked shopper tweeted the first image of the mannequin alongside a tweet saying that it was “in very poor taste”. The mannequin was dressed in black trousers and a beige shirt to mirror the outfit worn by Solomon Northup in the film, and had been placed next to a rack of DVDs. Sainsburys was forced to issue an apology after removing the offensive display.