F45 fitness studio apologises after drawing flak for racially insensitive Deepavali video

The fitness studio posted a video on Instagram which featured two women shaking their heads from side to side while saying "Happy Deepavali". PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM WAKEUPSINGAPORE/INSTAGRAM

SINGAPORE - A fitness studio in Serangoon Garden has apologised for uploading a Deepavali video that has been deemed racially insensitive.

On Friday (Nov 5), the F45 fitness studio, part of the F45 Training franchise based in the United States, posted a 14-second video in an Instagram story, featuring two women shaking their heads from side to side while saying "Happy Deepavali".

While making these movements, one of the women in the video also said that "her head cannot turn".

Laughter can be heard in the background.

The video has been taken down but has since been reposted on the Wake Up, Singapore Facebook page and Instagram account.

The reposted video on Instagram has garnered more than 368,000 views and 2,000 comments, many from people criticising it for its insensitivity.

In response to the backlash, the Serangoon Garden F45 branch uploaded an apology on its Instagram story. The studio said: "F45 has always been a family-friendly and fun place to exercise and we do many fun videos with our members."

It acknowledged that it "received feedback that this video is racially insensitive". "Our intentions were never to make fun or hurt anyone's feelings. We are very sorry for the mistakes and we hope to seek your forgiveness," it added.

The Serangoon Garden branch has since disabled and restricted comments on all posts on its Instagram account.

The F45 franchise has 21 other branches located in Singapore.

Join ST's Telegram channel here and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.