Oscar-nominated actor Mark Wahlberg shocked and confused many Augusta-area residents when he posted a inflammatory video on Instagram from in front of Aiken Jim. But no one was more confused and angry than Jim’s owner Lou Pleo.
The owner of Workout Anytime Aiken said, “Someone sent me a link to their Instagram page on Sunday after they posted it. No!” I thought.”
In the video, recorded around 3 a.m. Sunday, Wahlberg was standing outside the Anytime Aiken workout. He said they called earlier to arrange a workout, but no one was there to let them in.
Before: Mark Wahlberg calls out Workout Anytime Aiken gym in early morning Instagram video
“This is not ‘fit anytime.’ This is ‘part time, no time,'” Wahlberg said.
In the post’s description, the actor said he was able to find another gym, but didn’t indicate which gym it was or even if it was in the area.
when Augusta Chronicle When I spoke with Pleo on Tuesday, he reiterated that “nobody made an appointment.”
So where was the confusion?
Pleo got a call on voicemail on Saturday from a man who wasn’t Wahlberg, saying he and some others had come to late-night training and had left his phone number. The manager saw the message, called the number, and the man on the other end of the phone confirmed that he was a member of Wahlberg’s team.
An unidentified representative said he spoke to someone at Workout Anytime by the name of Ashley, who is not an employee. name, but not a real person. Pleo said when they tried to explain this, a representative hung up saying Wahlberg wasn’t interested.
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Pleo said he and his manager also tried to message Wahlberg directly to sort out the mess, but got no response.
Another point of confusion around this story is that Wahlberg refers to the business as “Anytime Fitness” in the video. Aiken’s closest Anytime Fitness is in Martinez, about 30 miles away, but it’s unclear if he simply misheard it or if Anytime Fitness believed he was at the gym.
This whole incident is very upsetting for Pleo and his employees.
when Augusta Chronicle When he first reached out to them on Monday, he hoped this would go away. He expressed pride in building a small, veteran-owned business and how this kind of thing is very serious to them.
“We’ve worked hard to build a good reputation and he’s going to destroy it in 30 seconds,” Puleo said of Wahlberg. “That’s not right.”
But the retired U.S. Marine Corps Colonel says he wants or is going to do it, especially since there’s no way to win the social media battle, especially against someone with 20 million followers.
“I don’t want to blame Mark Wahlberg. I think he’s a great guy. I enjoy his movies,” Pleo said. “But given his position on social media, it’s pretty unfair for him to step back and leave like that without saying..”
Workout Anytime Aiken is open to members 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is located at 1614 Richland Ave. West in Aiken, South Carolina. For more information, Workout Anytime.com/aiken.
This article originally appeared in the Augusta Chronicle. Aiken gym owner replies after Mark Wahlberg complains on Instagram