Stephen Ross, the billionaire chairman of the parent company behind Equinox and SoulCycle, is set to host a top-dollar fundraiser for President Trump’s 2020 reelection campaign this week, prompting calls from Billy Eichner, Chrissy Teigen and others celebrities to boycott the chains.
“Just contacted @Equinox to cancel my membership after many years,” Eichner tweeted on Wednesday. “Money talks, especially with these monsters. If it’s too inconvenient for u to trade one LUXURY GYM for another, then you should be ashamed. (No disrespect to the many wonderful employees at my local Equinox). Bye!”
Although Eichner said that “it’s probably impossible to completely avoid” business owners who support or donate to Trump, he criticized the company as “hypocritical and shameful” for “pandering to us.”
Equinox is popular among women and some gay communities in big cities across the country.
There are a handful of billionaires who own everything and many support Trump. Practically speaking, it’s probably impossible to completely avoid them. But considering @Equinox’s clientele and how they’ve pandered to us, this one feels particularly hypocritical and shameful.
— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 7, 2019
Ross, chairman and founder of Related Companies and the owner of the Miami Dolphins, will host the president and guests on Friday at his home in Southampton, New York, with tickets going for up to $250,000, according to the Washington Post.
Supporters who want to take a photo and have lunch with Trump can pay $100,000, while those looking to hear a private roundtable discussion with the president can buy a $250,000 ticket.
Amid mounting criticism and calls for boycotts, both Equinox and SoulCycle said they were not involved in or endorsing Ross’ fundraiser for the president.
In a public statement, the gyms defended their pro-LGBTQ stance and attempted to distance themselves from Ross, claiming that he was only a “passive investor.”
However, the statement infuriated several Twitter users, who insisted that Ross is the chairman and a majority shareholder of the Related Companies, which owns Equinox and SoulCycle.
Related Companies, which Steve Ross controls and owns the majority of, is the parent company of Equinox/Soul Cycle
That’s not what a passive investor is. An example of a passive investor would be someone who makes an investment in a restaurant but has no role in day to day mgmt https://t.co/QkKT7aPNzW
— Yashar Ali 🐘 (@yashar) August 8, 2019
everyone who cancels their equinox and soul cycle memberships, meet me at the library. bring weights
— christine teigen (@chrissyteigen) August 7, 2019
Stephen Ross is the majority owner of the parent company of Equinox gyms. He is holding a big Trump fundraiser. Know where your money is going. https://t.co/5t6Yxq8BCm
— George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) August 7, 2019