Equinox, SoulCycle face backlash amid owner's Trump fundraiser

Actor and LGBTQ activist Wilson Cruz is demanding Equinox gyms “end its support of Donald Trump” after it was revealed that its chairman, Stephen Ross, plans to host a fundraiser for the president. SoulCycle, which is also owned by Ross, is under fire as well, with many calling for a boycott of both fitness brands. Chrissy Teigen and The Lion King’s Billy Eichner both weighed in.

Equinox chairman Stephen M. Ross in New York City, March 14, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz)

Teigen chimed in, “the gym is my personal hell but if you're a member of Equinox perhaps it is time to say peace(out)-inox ayyyyy I'm still sick yes but f*** equinox.” She added, “oh and f*** soulcycle but I thought that way before this anyhow.”

Teigen then told her followers, “everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. bring weights.”

On Wednesday afternoon, #BoycottEquinox began to trend on Twitter, with people urging Equinox-goers to cancel their memberships.

Star Trek: Discovery actor Wilson Cruz started a Change.org petition with the hope of putting an end to the fundraiser.

“We joined this gym because we believed it shared our values. We believed it was a safe space for people like us,” he begins. “We believed that we were supporting a company that was inclusive, accepting and celebrating our diversity and supporting our physical and mental health as a community.”

He continues, “There is NO WAY that we as a community can continue to support this business if you are actively supporting an administration that puts us in danger and works towards treating us like second class citizens, and worse yet, subhuman.

“We don’t understand how this company, which owes its success to its LGBTQ membership especially in its largest markets in California, New York, Miami, Chicago and other big cities around the world thinks it’s appropriate to be tied to this fundraiser,” he concludes.

SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan issued a statement on Wednesday, saying the company “in no way endorses the political fundraising event.”

Equinox has also put out a statement on Twitter, saying that the fitness company along with SoulCycle “have nothing to do with the event and do not support it.”

Trump is scheduled to appear at Ross’s event. The Washington Post reports the luncheon is scheduled to take place Friday at the Southampton home of the billionaire New York real estate developer. According to the invite, $100,000 gets a guest a photo opportunity with POTUS and lunch, while $250,000 also includes a roundtable discussion. The price of entry starts at $5,600.

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