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The Jessica Fernandez Gym Creep Video Controversy refers to a viral video posted by Twitch partner and TikToker Jessica Fernandez (@Jessicafrndz) in which she secretly films a man who she claims keeps staring at her while they work out at a gym and complaining about how uncomfortable he's making her. At one point in the TikTok, the man approaches her and attempts to help her lift a plate onto the barbell and she refuses, seeing it as an attempt to look at her closer. The video went viral in late January 2023 and was criticized by some online, including Joey Swoll, who did not believe that the man was staring at her and thought Fernandez was overreacting and playing the victim, as well as accusing her of potentially delegitimizing women who actually get harassed at the gym. After its virality, Fernandez announced that she would make an official statement and apologized for the video. Later that month, Joey Swoll called out Gwinie_the_Pooh for shaming an elderly man at the gym, which similarly went viral.
Joey Swoll's Reaction
On January 20th, 2023, TikToker @thejoeyswoll posted a video responding to the now-deleted video by TikToker and Twitch streamer @jessica.frndz in which she secretly records a man at the gym who she believes keeps staring at her. Throughout the video, she calls the man "feral," a "piece of shit" and a "weirdo" and talks to the camera about how uncomfortable he's making her, claiming he's staring at her "like a piece of meat." She also writes in a caption that she thought about "ripping his pp off" and calls herself an "underage 21-year-old." The video also features a "stare counter" that marks the number of times he glances her way. At one point, the man approaches her to help her put a plate onto the bar she's using but she refuses his help, seeing it as an attempt to look at her closer. He then goes back to working out.
In Joey Swoll's response, he defends the man and says there's a "big difference" between staring at someone and looking or glancing at them. He suggests the man is likely glancing because she's in his peripherals and filming everything, suggesting he's just wondering why. He then argues that the man may have wanted to help her with the plate because he saw her struggling and it's hard to put plates on a barbell from the ground. The video gained over 3.3 million views in four days. On the same day, he posted the video to Twitter, garnering over 317,000 likes, 34,000 retweets and 71 million views in four days (shown below).
Women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop, but you are not one of them. An act of kindness or a glance does not make you a victim. pic.twitter.com/34g9265KXb
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 21, 2023
Criticism and Jessica Fernandez's Resonse
On January 21st, 2023, @Jessicafrndz announced on Twitter that she was going live on Twitch. That day, Twitter user @AlpacaViolent posted a clip from the stream in which Fernandez cries about Swoll's video response and that she has to "apologize for feeling uncomfortable," suggesting he's trying to "use" her content for views (shown below).
— Violent Alpaca (@AlpacaViolent) January 22, 2023
The video gained viral spread online over the following days, largely inspiring criticisms of Fernandez from viewers. For example, on January 22nd, Twitter user @valarmitra posted the full, deleted video, writing, "Attention seeking vile narcissists Jessica Fernandez a Twitch partner shames a man who looks her way and tried to offer help. Calling him Feral and playing cute while pretending to be oppressed." On the same day, Twitter user @DelusionPosting posted a screenshot of the video where she calls herself an "underage 21-year-old," questioning what that means and garnering over 90,000 likes in two days (shown below).
On January 23rd, 2023, Twitter gimmick account @WomenPostingLs posted a series of now-deleted tweets from @Jessicafrndz in which she shared the video and claims she hates being sexualized along with a photo of her announcing her "FanHouse" account, garnering over 153,000 likes and 17,000 retweets in a day (shown below). The New York Post notably reported on the story that day.
Later that day, Fernandez then made a post to Twitter writing, "I will be coming out with a response to this whole gym situation in a few days. I'm sorry," garnering over 850 likes in a day (shown below).
On January 24th, Fernandez posted a Twitlonger responding to the backlash. In the post, she apologizes to the man that she filmed in the gym, writing that she "blew our interaction out of proportion." She writes, "When I first posted the video I felt I was completely in the right and I felt I was making a good attempt to connect and relate to my female audience who may have dealt with uncomfortable situations at the gym. And now after reading literally thousands of comments about me, the situation and the man in question it truly opened my eyes to how damaging this could have been for him." She also announces she will take a break from social media and clears up a rumor that she has an OnlyFans, writing, "I don't have an OnlyFans, I have Fanhouse which is a SFW website where I connect with my supporters" (full response shown below).
The video inspired many critical responses to Fernandez, including from the media. On YouTube, several conservative pundits commented on the video. On January 23rd, 2023, Candace Owens posted a clip from her podcast to YouTube reacting to the gym video, garnering over 85,000 views in a day (shown below, left). On the same day, Matt Walsh posted a video to YouTube reacting to Fernandez, garnering over 510,000 views in a day (shown below, right).
On the same day, YouTuber The Comments Section with Brett Cooper posted a reaction to the video, also criticizing Fernandez, garnering over 271,000 views in a day (shown below).
Gwinie_the_Pooh Old Man Working Out Video Controversy refers to backlash surrounding a viral video posted by TikToker @gwinie_the_pooh where she secretly films an elderly man working out at the gym in order to make fun of him. In late January 2023, fitness influencer Joey Swoll, who earlier that month criticized TikToker Jessica Fernandez for falsely accusing a man of staring at her at the gym, posted a video calling Gwinie out for making fun of the old man, inspiring her to delete her TikTok account.
— Joey Swoll (@TheJoeySwoll) January 31, 2023
 New York Post – Twitch influencer Jessica Fernandez films man staring at her…