Life Time, a Minnesota-based chain of health clubs with 130 locations in 27 states, has decided to remove cable news from TVs in all of its facilities.
A company spokeswoman, Natalie Bushaw, told the New York Times that the change was made to reflect the gym’s “overall healthy way of life philosophy.”
The decision was also based on member requests and a commitment “to provide family-oriented environments free of polarizing or politically charged content.”
Bushaw noted local news stations would still be shown.
Life Time tweeted out a statement about the change last week, and received hundreds of varying responses.
Our perspective on the recent tv programming change in our clubs. pic.twitter.com/r81EQFjZdE
— Life Time (@lifetimefitness) January 4, 2018
Many commenters complained the removal of the channels is censorship, but others said they want an escape from the real world at the gym and don’t want to hear politics all the time.
One member interviewed by the Times said he would look for another gym if the cable news channels weren’t restored by the end of the month.
“I’ve never seen anybody complain about this, none ever in our club,” he said.
Bushaw declined to disclose how many members have complained about cable news channels, but said it has been a growing issue “over years, not weeks or months.”
McCall Gosselin, a spokeswoman for fitness chain Planet Fitness, said the issue had “never come up.”