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An influencer has apologized after a video of her branding a man who tried to help her at the gym a ‘weirdo’ sparked a slew of backlash online, with her calling it a ‘gross mistake’ and admitting that she ‘blew their interaction out of proportion.’

Popular Twitch streamer Jessica Fernandez posted the controversial video to TikTok last week and it showed her preparing to lift weights when she noticed a man behind her was looking at her.

She called the man ‘feral’ and said he made her feel like ‘a piece of meat,’ and when he offered to put a plate on her dumbbell for her, she told her followers she wanted to ‘rip his [penis] out of his socket so he could never reproduce again.’

The video quickly went viral, and it launched a fierce response from viewers who said Jessica ‘was not a victim’ and that the man was simply trying to help her.

An influencer has apologized after a video of her branding a man who tried to help her at the gym a 'weirdo' sparked a slew of backlash online

An influencer has apologized after a video of her branding a man who tried to help her at the gym a ‘weirdo’ sparked a slew of backlash online

Twitch streamer Jessica Fernandez posted the controversial video to TikTok last week, and it showed her preparing to lift weights when she noticed a man behind her was looking at her

Twitch streamer Jessica Fernandez posted the controversial video to TikTok last week, and it showed her preparing to lift weights when she noticed a man behind her was looking at her 

She called the man 'feral' and said he made her feel like 'a piece of meat,' and when he offered to put a plate on her dumbbell for her, she told her followers she wanted to 'rip his [penis] off'

She called the man ‘feral’ and said he made her feel like ‘a piece of meat,’ and when he offered to put a plate on her dumbbell for her, she told her followers she wanted to ‘rip his [penis] off’

The video quickly went viral, and it launched a fierce response from viewers who said Jessica 'was not a victim' and that the man was simply trying to help her

The video quickly went viral, and it launched a fierce response from viewers who said Jessica 'was not a victim' and that the man was simply trying to help her

The video quickly went viral, and it launched a fierce response from viewers who said Jessica ‘was not a victim’ and that the man was simply trying to help her 

Now, she has issued a lengthy apology, admitting that the fellow gym-goer ‘didn’t do anything wrong’ and that she ‘feels sick to her stomach with guilt’ after realizing ‘how damaging’ her claims ‘could have been for him.’

‘I want to apologize sincerely to the man at the gym where this all started. He didn’t do anything wrong to me and I blew our interaction out of proportion,’ the streamer, who has more than 625,000 followers on TikTok, wrote in a statement shared to her Twitter.

‘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.’

Jessica added that she was grateful that people ‘called her out’ because it has now given her ‘the chance to learn from her mistake.’

In the video, which has since been deleted, Jessica joked that ‘natural selection should take the man out,’ but now, she called her comments ‘far from tasteful and funny.’

She added that her actions were ‘extremely immature’ and admitted to ‘making light of a situation that should be taken a lot more seriously.’ 

She said she now looks back on the video and ‘cringes,’ and hailed the negative response as a ‘wakeup call’ for her.

‘It took literally thousands of people displaying their distaste for the way I acted for me to realize this in full effect,’ she continued.

While Jessica noted that the ‘man at the gym did nothing damaging,’ she explained that ‘felt threatened in the situation’ because had ‘suffered from sexual assault and sexual harassment’ in the past.

Jessica called the video a 'gross mistake' and admitted that she 'blew their interaction out of proportion'

Jessica called the video a ‘gross mistake’ and admitted that she ‘blew their interaction out of proportion’

‘I reacted by trying to cope with it in probably the worst way possible,’ she added.

‘My past isn’t an excuse or a justification for what I did but it is something I want to personally and professionally address with a therapist in the future. Because I don’t want to, and will never, hurt anyone ever again in this way.’

One of Jessica’s most vocal critics was popular fitness guru Joey Swoll, who has amassed more than six million followers on TikTok for often responding to people posting videos like Jessica’s.

And while Joey noted that ‘women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop,’ he believed Jessica ‘was not one of them.’ 

‘There is a big difference between staring at somebody and simply looking or glancing at them,’ he said in his video response to Jessica’s clip. 

‘Why did this man look at you? Well you’re in front of him, a little off to the side, you’re in his peripheral. 

‘You’re also taking a video with your camera pointed directly at him and you’re talking to yourself. 

‘He’s probably watching you wondering, “What is she doing?” I know I would.’ 

When it came to the man offering to help Jessica with her weights, Joey called it an ‘act of kindness,’ and slammed her for ‘turning him into a creep’ over it.

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‘Any experienced lifter out there knows that when you have a barbell on the ground, if you’re doing hip thrusts or dead lifts, it’s very difficult to put plates on,’ he continued.

‘He sees that you struggled, being an experience lifter and he comes over to try to help you because that’s what kind people do. 

‘This is not misogynistic. I have been in the gym for 20 years, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve helped men and women load plates, take plates off, put weights back. It has nothing to do with sex or gender. 

Jessica added that she was grateful that people 'called her out' because it has now given her 'the chance to learn from her mistake'

Jessica added that she was grateful that people ‘called her out’ because it has now given her ‘the chance to learn from her mistake’

One of Jessica's most vocal critics was popular fitness guru Joey Swoll, who has amassed more than six million followers on TikTok

One of Jessica’s most vocal critics was popular fitness guru Joey Swoll, who has amassed more than six million followers on TikTok

‘You help people because it’s kind to do. And it’s very sad that you took an act of kindness – this man doing something for you, being kind – and turned him into a creep at the gym talking about how you want to rip his reproductive organ off? And that natural selection should take him out? Really?

‘Trying to make yourself out to be a victim, which you’re not. There are women harassed in gyms, you’re not one of them. Do better.’ 

Jessica added in her apology that she took Joey’s words seriously, writing, ‘I think it’s important to call people out on their mistakes and in the words of Joey, help them “do better.”

While Joey noted that 'women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop,' he said in a response video that he believed Jessica 'was not one of them'

While Joey noted that ‘women are harassed in gyms and it needs to stop,’ he said in a response video that he believed Jessica ‘was not one of them’ 

‘This is exactly what I plan to do with not just my content but my life moving forward.

‘As an influencer, I hold a lot of responsibility to use my platform in a way that spreads love and happiness which I did the exact opposite of that. 

‘I’m sorry to the men and women who deal with or have dealt with false/true allegations of SA or SH and if I made their situations feel belittled by mine.

‘This will be an ugly scar on my character for a long time until I can show that I am growing. I just hope people give me the chance to.

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‘In hopes of moving on after this situation I will no longer be discussing the topic any further. 

‘Along with that I will be taking a break from social media until I am in the right mental space to keep making content.’ 

Joey’s reaction to Jessica’s video got more than 73 million views, and many people replied with their own thoughts on the matter.

Jessica added in her apology that she took Joey's words seriously, writing, 'In the words of Joey, help them ¿do better." 'This is exactly what I plan to do moving forward'

Jessica added in her apology that she took Joey's words seriously, writing, 'In the words of Joey, help them ¿do better." 'This is exactly what I plan to do moving forward'

Jessica added in her apology that she took Joey’s words seriously, writing, ‘In the words of Joey, help them “do better.” This is exactly what I plan to do moving forward’

Joey's reaction to Jessica's video got more than 73 million views, and many people replied with their own thoughts on the matter

Joey’s reaction to Jessica’s video got more than 73 million views, and many people replied with their own thoughts on the matter 

Some agreed with Joey, claiming that the man was falsely judged, while others were on Jessica’s side, calling him ‘creepy.’ 

‘Agree! Being kind now a days is taken wrong by many young girls in the gym… maybe its because of social media,’ one person wrote.

‘I know from experience. There are creeps at the gym but let’s not make every guy feel that way when it’s just being nice.’

‘I believe it’s a social media thing, a person puts up a video like this and then the domino effect happens where others automatically assume they’re being stalked or harassed,’ someone else said. 

‘Then it becomes who can chase the clout more with these types of videos.’

Another viewer added: ‘It’s NORMAL for people to gaze in public in general, even more so in a gym. 

‘Often it’s due to safety or curiosity. I don’t know this young lady but I have no issue with her watching my lift! Don’t project your insecurities on others.’

‘I feel bad for the guy he literally tried to help her and her only goal was to make him look like a predator,’ a fourth tweet read. 

A fifth said: ‘Weird how she’s okay with 1000s of people staring at her do glute exercises online but a guy glances a few times in a public gym is traumatizing. Seems like a fake stunt for clout.’ 

‘Showing off doesn’t give anyone an excuse to be creepy,’ one person, who defended Jessica, wrote. 

‘Stop acting like women wear things just to show off or attract men, its weird.’

‘Absolutely bulls*** it has nothing to do with sex,’ another user insisted. 

‘Oh yeah, dude would have totally been staring at another man and trying to help him work out.’

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