Celebrities call for boycott of SoulCycle and Equinox over owner’s Trump support
Both fitness groups have a presence in London.
Celebrities including Chrissy Teigen and Billy Eichner have called for a boycott of fitness company SoulCycle over one of its major shareholder’s support of Donald Trump.
Billionaire Stephen Ross is the chairman of the company which owns SoulCycle and Equinox gyms, and is hosting a fundraiser for the US president at his New York home.
Tickets are reportedly selling for up to 250,000 US dollars, about £205,000.
Teigen and Eichner have both been vocal in their opposition to Mr Trump’s policies on immigration and LGBT rights and took to social media asking fans to boycott SoulCycle and Equinox.
According to their respective websites, SoulCycle has a site in London while there are three Equinox gyms in the capital.
TV presenter and model Teigen tweeted: “The gym is my personal hell but if you’re a member of Equinox perhaps it is time to say peace(out)-inox ayyyyy.”
Writing on Instagram, Teigen said the issue boiled down to “fundamental differences in compassion, empathy and humanity”.
Hey @Equinox - what’s your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 7, 2019
Lion King star Eichner tweeted: “Hey @Equinox
– what’s your policy for canceling memberships once a member finds out your owner is enabling racism and mass murder?”
He later said he had cancelled his membership, adding: “Money talks, especially with these monsters.”
Just contacted @Equinox to cancel my membership after many years. 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!— billy eichner (@billyeichner) August 7, 2019
Eichner said: “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!”
As the hashtag #BoycottEquinox began to trend on Twitter, the gym released a statement describing Mr Ross, who also owns the Miami Dolphins NFL team, as a “passive investor”.
“We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values”, the statement added.
SoulCycle’s CEO, Melanie Whelan, also released a statement, saying the company “in no way endorses the political fundraising event”.
A note from our CEO pic.twitter.com/UwxBWR76B0— SoulCycle (@soulcycle) August 7, 2019
Mr Ross said he did not agree with Mr Trump on all issues, adding: “I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”