Singapore—Some netizens have been vocal with their dissatisfaction not only with the fact that Virgin Active Singapore has a CCTV (closed-circuit television) camera in one part of its changing room, but also its responses on social media.
Virgin Active Singapore posted on Facebook March 15, saying, “If you have seen a recent post on a local socio-political community site and disregarded it, we want to thank you for having the same trust and belief in us as we have in you.”
The fitness club explained that the camera is installed in a communal area where women can get a bathrobe before they go to the “relax and recovery facilities” of the club. The post explained that members should not do stretches in this area since there are proper areas and equipment in the club for this purpose.
The post then addressed people who may have concerns with the camera, they were welcome to come and discuss this with the club. “But if you did think our staff have ill intentions and do not show the due respect that the female body should have, come have a chat with us!” Since they are “always open to share with you the values that all our staff embody.”
The Facebook post got considerable responses from netizens, some of whom made suggestions to make the situation better.
Several commenters wrote that perhaps the club can post a sign that the area is monitored by a CCTV camera so that gym members are aware of the situation, and can dress appropriately.
Others simply expressed disapproval for having the camera there, writing, “OMG ! This is wrong! Shame on you Virgin Active Singapore.”
Other netizens said that some people actually walk around naked in this area, or wear very little since it’s beside the shower room.
Another commenter asked the club outright why the camera is there.
Virgin Active Singapore wrote, “Hi (name), the CCTV is there to film the fire escape (located at the top right of the images), as a precautionary measure should there be any break-ins.”
But the plot, as they thickens.
Another netizen named Adeline Ho asked about the camera again. “Erm .. why is there a CCTV in the changing room? This is so wrong and I’m extremely concerned”
The club answered in a way that was quite unusual, which Reddit ended up picking up.
“Virgin Active Singapore Hi Adeline, as we have mentioned and you can see in the images in our post, the CCTV is positioned where our female members can pick up a bathrobe before using our relax and recovery facilities, which are located in a communal area past the changing room. And while we celebrate body positivity just like anyone living in the now times and is morally obligated to stay woke and is part of the me too movement, we trust our members are aware enough to be covered up when moving through the club.”
Needless to say, commenters were not happy at all with this answer.
Ms Ho shot back, “Celebrate body positivity or not – it is important that you put up a sign that says CCTV is in use so that members are aware. You can’t just brush the issue like that.”
Another commenter by the name of Lee Edward said, “Virgin Active Singapore You should consider firing whoever you hired to handle your PR. Your response to Adeline is rude, dismissive, and outrageous. Body positivity? Stay woke? Me too?”
Reddit called it, “Virgin Active Singapore cringe-y response to a female patron complain” and commenters went to town lambasting the fitness club
The Independent Singapore has reached out to Virgin Active Singapore for a comment.