Billionaire Stephen Ross' lavish Trump fundraiser triggers boycott calls and rampant cancellations at Equinox, SoulCycle
The clubs' left-leaning members have expressed their outrage over the planned fundraiser, with several of them canceling their membership.
Equinox and SoulCycle's boss, Stephen Ross, who is a supporter of President Donald Trump is facing heavy criticism after he announced that he plans to throw a Hamptons fundraiser this Friday for Trump.
SoulCycle is a New York City-based fitness company that offers indoor cycling workout classes and is popular with liberal elites. The clubs' left-leaning members have expressed their outrage over the planned fundraiser, with several of them canceling their membership, according to Page Six.
Ross, who is the chairman of Related Companies which is the parent company of both the clubs, has organized the fundraiser with the tickets for the event ranging from $5,600 to $250,000. According to the Washington Post, the attendees of the fundraiser who pay the most money will get a lunch, photo, and a private roundtable conversation with the president.
The protesters of the fundraiser included activist and actor Wilson Cruz, who launched a Change.org campaign and wrote: "We joined this gym because we believed it shared our values. We believed it was a safe space for people like us. 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," Cruz said.
Meanwhile, Ross, who also owns Miami Dolphins, responded to the outrage and released a statement saying that he has always been an "active participant in the democratic process.”
"I have known Donald Trump for 40 years …and while we agree on some issues, we strongly disagree on many others and I have never been bashful about expressing my opinions," he added.
Equinox and SoulCycle also released a joint statement, saying: "Neither Equinox nor SoulCycle have anything to do with the event later this week and do not support it. As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians. We are committed to all our members and communities we live in. We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values. Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business."