Planet Fitness Loses Major Market Value Following Bathroom Controversy

Planet Fitness has lost a major amount of market value following a widely publicized controversy surrounding a policy that allows biological men to use women’s-only facilities.

The gym franchise dropped $400 million in its market value after national headlines revealed it had canceled the membership of a woman who took a picture of a biological man shaving in the women’s locker room at one of their gyms. The chain’s market value has now fallen from $5.3 billion to $4.9 billion.

Patricia Silva shared her experience at a Planet Fitness location in Fairbanks, Alaska, when she witnessed a man in the women’s bathroom. She confronted him about his presence when a young girl, wrapped in a towel, was upset about the situation. Upon reporting it to gym staff and receiving little help in the matter, Silva shared her account in a video posted online.

Planet Fitness then suspended the woman’s membership, claiming she had violated the company’s policies about taking pictures of others in the locker rooms. However, Silva specifically spoke with charity about the man, citing her Christian beliefs and her respect for him despite his desire to be the opposite gender. Subsequently, the chain’s stock dropped by over 6% in one week.

In a recent interview with Newsmax reporters, Silva also emphasized that “every life matters” and that the issue at hand is not whether gender confused individuals are to be respected but how to “keep safe space” between the different genders.

Planet Fitness’ “non-discrimination policy” allows for gym users to choose “the facilities that best align with the sincere, self-reported gender identity,” according to a statement released by the company. However, the policy also stipulates that individuals who are “acting in bad faith” through “improperly assert[ing] a gender identity,” will be subjected “to leave and their membership may be terminated.”

The story was first publicized by the conservative social media account Libs of TikTok, which posted Silva’s testimony on X. Following the boycott and the stock plummet of the company, the account—run by Chaya Raichik—exposed the chain for engaging in a “massive coverup” of the story.

On March 22, Raichik posted a recording of a phone call between a Planet Fitness staff member and a journalist who, posing as a father of a young girl looking to sign up for a gym membership, asked about the bathroom policies, citing the viral video from Silva.

The staff member quickly explained that the company is “a judgment free zone” and said that what Silva reported in her video “isn’t what exactly happened.” Despite corroborating reports, Planet Fitness claimed that the photo Silva had taken of the man in the women’s bathroom was fake.