NEW YORK CITY: Model Chrissy Teigen has come out swinging after it was revealed Stephen Ross, the chairman of fancy fitness brands Equinox and SoulCycle, is planning to host a fundraiser for Trump’s re-election. The model – along with a slew of other influential New Yorkers – encouraged their large followings to boycott the two popular gyms.
“I don’t normally make posts like this but a lot of my very cool, socially aware, progressive, awesome, amazing friends are members of Equinox or SoulCycle,” Teigen began in an Instagram video to her 25.3 million followers. “I just want to let you know that their owner is hosting a giant Trump fundraiser and so f*** them. Cancel your memberships today. You can come to my house and workout. But just think about it. If you’re fine with that, cool. Go right ahead. But if you’re not – and I know a lot of you are not fine with it – I think that you should cancel.”
The Washington Post first broke the news that Ross was holding the event in The Hamptons with ticket prices reportedly costing USD $100,000 (AUD $144,000). Ross is the founder and chairman of Related Cos., which owns both Equinox and SoulCycle.
Calls for change began swelling on the internet late Wednesday afternoon in the States. A Change.org petition calling for Equinox to put an end to the fundraiser attracted close to one thousand signatures in just a couple of hours. Most though shared their outrage on social media. Among them, comedian Billy Eichner.
“Money talks, especially with these monsters,” he tweeted. “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!”
“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,” he continued, referencing Equinox’s marketing to LGBTQ gym members.
Equinox responded late Wednesday afternoon. “We want to let you know that Equinox and SoulCycle have nothing to do with the event and do not support it,” the brand tweeted. “As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians.” The statement named Ross as a “passive investor”.
More to come.