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Celebrities Are Canceling Their Equinox Memberships Over The Owner's Trump Fundraiser

Jonathan Van Ness said he'd canceled, and Sophia Bush said she wouldn't go to SoulCycle again.

Last updated on August 13, 2019, at 9:27 a.m. ET

Posted on August 8, 2019, at 10:44 a.m. ET

Emma Mcintyre / Getty Images, Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Jonathan Van Ness and Sophia Bush

Celebrities are now saying they are canceling their Equinox memberships in droves after it was revealed that the company's owner is hosting a lavish fundraiser for President Donald Trump's reelection campaign.

Stephen Ross, the chair of the firm that owns Equinox and SoulCycle, is holding the fundraiser Friday at his mansion in the Hamptons, the Washington Post first reported.

On Thursday morning, Queer Eye's Jonathan Van Ness said he'd canceled his Equinox membership.

Cancelled that membership @Equinox & as if! I never paid those outrageous non discounted ass soul cycle prices 🏳️‍🌈

One Tree Hill actor Sophia Bush said "Buh-bye" to SoulCycle, which Ross also owns.

"Won't miss ya!" Bush said.

Whelp. Buh-bye @soulcycle. Won’t miss ya! ✌🏼 https://t.co/y6HBv21XNa

Chrissy Teigen tweeted a screenshot of an auto reply saying the company was "experiencing extremely high volumes of emails," which she later said her friend received while trying to cancel.

"Rough day at Equinox," she tweeted, adding that the gym is her "personal hell but if you're a member of Equinox perhaps it is time to say peace(out)-inox ayyyyy."

"Oh and fuck soulcycle but I thought that way before this anyhow," she tweeted.

Dan Levy, who stars in Schitt's Creek, also spoke out against the luxury fitness brands.

Imagine showing up to an Equinox or a SoulCycle tomorrow? 😬

"Imagine showing up to an Equinox or a SoulCycle tomorrow?" he tweeted.

MSNBC's Morning Joe cohost Mika Brzezinski tweeted Thursday morning that she would never go to SoulCycle again.

No more soul cycle. Will never go there again. Will never go to Hudson Yards or Equinox. Ever. https://t.co/X9fU9j2agK

"Will never go to Hudson Yards or Equinox. Ever," she added, referencing the $25 billion Hudson Yards project in New York City that Ross developed.

In an interview with BuzzFeed News on Wednesday, My So-Called Life and Star Trek: Discovery actor Wilson Cruz said he felt "disgusted and betrayed by a company that sold itself as an ally to people of color and the LGBTQ community."

Equinox has directly advertised to LGBTQ customers, frequently with campaigns during Pride Month. Cruz said the brand has "gone out of its way to celebrate pride when it was financially convenient for them."

"To turn around and now throw a fundraiser for Trump and his administration, with their policies that have advocated against LGBTQ people, immigrants, and people of color, that’s a direct betrayal to all of us," he added.

It’s important @equinox know WHY we’re going to cancel our membership. This fundraiser and it’s ties to Stephen Ross, is a betrayal to our communities after masquerading as a corporate ally during #Pride. You can’t use us to make money and then use it to work against us. No. https://t.co/CFZhBmGdaV

Cruz made a petition calling for the gym to "end its support of Donald Trump," and said Wednesday that he was waiting to see if the company would take action before deciding to cancel.

"I have my finger on the membership button, but I’d like to hear something come from the company itself first," he said.

In a joint statement Wednesday, Equinox and SoulCycle said they don't 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 the communities we live in. We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values," the statement added. "Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business."

Ross, a real estate magnate who owns the Miami Dolphins and is a major investor in many other companies, doesn't just invest in Equinox — he's the majority owner.

With apologies @MelanieWhelan1, level with customers. Mr. Ross has a controlling stake in @soulcycle. He is not a passive investor by any definition. Which means your profits are his profits. He's using his profits to support Trump. That's the reality. https://t.co/xHXZC6Dzw3

For this reason, many people found the company's statement woefully insufficient.

"He's literally the Chairman of the Board of 'Equinox Holdings,'" Billy Eichner replied on Twitter.

@Equinox He’s literally the Chairman of the Board of “Equinox Holdings”

"Passive investor? Lies!! He's the chairman and majority owner of your parent company aka owners, [the Related Companies]! What a shameful response!!" Perez Hilton commented on the company's Instagram.

This tweet is a lie. A passive investor is someone who invests money but has no involvement in the company. SoulCycle is a subsidiary of The Related Companies. Stephen Ross is founder and chairman of The Related Companies. He is your boss. https://t.co/NfV7ooufat

In a statement to BuzzFeed News, Ross said he supported racial equality and that his support of the Trump campaign came from his interest in the economy and job creation.

"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," Ross said.

But Kenny Stills, a player on the Miami Dolphins — the team that Ross owns — said on Twitter that Ross's politics are inconsistent with the views on racial tolerance he claims to espouse.

🤔 You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump. https://t.co/sNBWfEXvLn

Ross runs a nonprofit, called the Ross Initiative in Sports for Equality, which aims to address racism and discrimination in sports.

"You can’t have a non profit with this mission statement then open your doors to Trump," Stills said.

CORRECTION

Chrissy Teigen's friend canceled his Equinox membership. An earlier version of this article stated she had done so.


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