Orem, Provo groups demanding changes at 2 gyms

Published: Thursday, Jan. 17 2008 12:23 a.m. MST

PROVO — String bikinis, leather bras and skin.

It's all part of the video programming Gold's Gym offers its Utah County members, but nearly a thousand local community members — led by five student-run anti-pornography organizations — want to see the gym's Provo and Orem sports clubs cleaned up.

After submitting a lengthy public petition, presidents of various clubs from Brigham Young University, Utah Valley State College and the community voiced strong concerns to the gyms' director of operations, Kirk Livingstone, in a two-hour meeting Wednesday night.

They are demanding that the gyms get rid of R-rated or sexually explicit PG-13 movies and install blinds on aerobic room windows to block views of provocative dancing.

Some of the club's rap videos like "Shake Your Money Maker" were dubbed pornographic, and they said the lyrics were just as offending.

"I could read you some of the lyrics from these videos (played at the gyms) but it would be too embarrassing for both of us," said Jesse Yaffe, 30, a spokesman for the groups.

Some group members who were hoping for immediate results were discouraged when no definite agreements were reached, but Livingstone said he needed time to consider the complaints.

"We're committed to doing what's right for the community and our members," he said after the meeting. "I can't tell the chances of us changing but I will say we are not unwilling to change the programming."

Livingstone ruled out the request to install blinds but said he would seriously look into a way of altering the kind of music that is played.

While the gym franchise considers the issues, critics said the meeting was just a start in their drive.

According to Yaffe, the groups are ready to protest at the Provo and Orem gyms every Saturday until the TV programming is changed. "One hundred years if it takes that long," Yaffe said.


E-mail: jhancock@desnews.com

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