American lesbian fitness guru Jackie Warner needs a new sponsor.
Sports beverage Gatorade pulled its sponsorship from Warner’s reality fitness show Work Out, on the Bravo network, in response to letters of outrage from viewers over insensitive remarks she and her business manager made about a client’s breasts.
The husband of a client at Warner’s Skylab gym called Warner and her co-worker to the carpet when he overheard their on-camera quips about the shape of his wife’s breasts, for which she’d undergone work from a struggle with breast cancer.
Warner and her employee and onscreen nemesis Brian Peeler, the client’s trainer, came to blows later in the episode when Peeler insisted on further discussing the situation. She refused.
“We have notified Bravo we no longer wish to be associated with The Work Out [sic] and will be pulling our commercials. Furthermore, we will not renew our sponsorship of this programme in subsequent seasons,” said a Gatorade spokesperson.
The beverage chose to pull sponsorship following a spate of negative letters from Work Out viewers, in which Warner has been called, “a negative icon for the gay community.”
Warner took to her Bravo blog to quell the backlash by writing that Peeler had tried to demonise her on camera. She also said that editors cut all of the “good” stuff out of the episode.
“I did not make a derogatory remark about Brian Peeler’s client on camera or off-camera.
“The only reason he tried to bring it up to me on camera is to villianise (sic) me and set me up for something I didn’t do,” wrote Warner.
But despite attempts to mollify viewers and Gatorade, the beverage company has refused to associate with Warner and her show.
“We hope our immediate actions send a clear message to the community that we greatly value what you have to say, agree with your sentiments, and appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us,” said a Gatorade spokesperson.
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