In the world of YouTube, there are very few stars that are bigger than Rich Piana. The Bodybuilding phenom has one of the largest followings in the fitness community on YouTube but a recent audio recording has many wondering if their favorite fitness YouTuber is also a racist. The audio recording was taken by an ex-girlfriend over ten years ago. The incident, ten years ago, was prompted when the ex-girlfriend took a public photo with former basketball star Magic Johnson. Piana was incensed because his girlfriend was seen in public with a “N-word” and allowed Magic Johnson to kiss her on the cheek. Piana suggested that his ex-girlfriend was a “Dirty f-ing N-word-lover”. In the audio, he adds a lynching reference suggesting that she should be hung from a rope. Piana was never a first class body-builder but he found fame by openly discussing his personal steroid use, confirming the widespread usage of the entire body-building community. His honesty on the once-taboo subject earned him a rabid cult following. He parlayed his popularity into a supplement line called 5% Nutrition, meal prepping services, and apparel lines. His trademarked phrase became “Whatever it Takes” a reference that flaunted his liberal use of steroids. Piana’s fitness channel boasts over 943,000 regular subscribers with individual videos that score up-to a half-a-million viewers. How his following will be impacted by this incident remains to be seen.
The Audio is below (WARNING: Graphic content, containing 27 uses of the N-word). We have also posted Rich Piana’s apology.