Sydney-based James Smith rose to social media fame calling out “bullsh*t” in the fitness industry. He currently runs an online fitness program, has penned two books – one of which hit number one on the Sunday Times bestsellers list last year – and recently completed a tour around Australia dishing out advice on how to be successful.
On Thursday, the British-born fitness expert responded to a critic in a lengthy post who accused the 31-year-old of benefiting from “white male straight cisgender able bodied privilege” – telling his 803,000 Instagram followers: “I’ve had enough.”
Alongside a photo that shared the comment, Mr Smith argued people don’t buy his books or pay for his training advice because he’s male and white.
He cited “a decade of hard work” for his success, calling those who disagreed “woke c**ts”.
Despite receiving support from followers, there were some who challenged his views, saying Mr Smith was “missing the point”.
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“People don’t use me as a personal trainer just because I’m white,” Mr Smith wrote.
“People don’t buy my books because I’m male.
“Having ‘my gender correspond with my birth sex’ did not sell out my last tour.
“Being heterosexual did not make me a #1 Sunday Times Best seller.”
He went on to write: “What the woke c**ts see as privilege is more often than not hard work,” adding he had “sacrificed so much” for his work.
Mr Smith concluded his lengthy post by inviting his critics to “suck my privileged cisgender testicles”.
“Labelling me as all these things is making the situation WORSE,” he said.
“Don’t mistake hard work and dedication for privilege, your kids may thank me in 10 years time.”
His post clearly resonated, receiving more than 30,000 likes and hundreds of comments, some applauding Mr Smith’s bold stance.
“You can be privileged and hard working,” one wrote.
“THIS…!!! This is the BEST thing I’ve read all year,” another said.
While others wrote “bravo” and said they were “sick of people talking about ‘discrimination’ and ‘ableist’ bulls**t’,”.
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But there were many who said Mr Smith had “missed the mark” and was “way off” – some even explaining the “difference between hard work and white privilege”.
“I feel like you may have missed the mark on this one. Privilege and hard work are not comparable at all,” one said.
“Privilege isn’t about not having to do the work, it’s about being able to do it without extra obstacles and barriers,” another wrote.
“Missed the mark on this one. Privilege isn’t about you not working hard, it’s about the other people who work as hard or harder but have more hurdles to jump,” one man explained.
One follower went into great detail about how they believed Mr Smith had got it wrong, writing: “There are people who WOULDN’T use you as their personal trainer if you were Black.
“There are people who wouldn’t buy your book if you were female.
“There are people who wouldn’t buy a ticket to your tour if you were transgender.
“There are people who wouldn’t have contributed to making you a #1 Sunday Times Best Seller if you were gay.”
While one person said: “Grow up and stop sulking, people saying they face more challenges isn’t invalidating yours, it’s not a suffering competition mate.”
“White privilege does NOT mean your life isn’t hard, was never hard or can’t be hard,” another agreed.
“It doesn’t mean you never worked hard or deserve your success. It simply means the colour of your skin will NEVER be a factor in affecting any of that. I love you but you are way off with this one.”
In the comments, Mr Smith doubled down on his comments, stating there were people who “will miss the entire concept of the post” and he wanted to make it clear.
“By saying I reap the rewards of being a white male, what does that do the mindset of someone who is the opposite? Inspire them? I’m not so sure.
“We must instil into people that NO MATTER WHAT their circumstances, they can accomplish whatever they want, should they do the work.”
News.com.au has contacted Mr Smith for comment.
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