To be honest, until yesterday, I had no idea what Soulcycle was until the Overlords told me it was that thing where people go to get yelled at during spinning class. I’ve seen that in movies and sitcoms, though I had no idea it was called SoulCycle, which sounds like a weird name for a class where someone is screaming at you. The Overlords also tell me that it’s “cultish,” which to be honest is a term that can be used to describe a lot of exercise programs or frequent visitors to certain websites.
The point is: People love it, and a lot of those people who love it are Hollywood types and “influencers,” and God bless them, many of them took to social media yesterday to call for a boycott of Equinox and SoulCycle after it was revealed that an investor in the company, Stephen Ross (who also owns the Miami Dolphins) would be holding a fundraiser for Donald Trump.
Billy Eichner led the charge on the protests:
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
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
Wilson Cruz also started a Change.org petition and has been very outspoken on social media.
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— Wilson Cruz (@wcruz73) August 7, 2019
Others have also joined in:
I rode with SoulCycle for more than 5 years. To think the money I spent on your classes went into the pockets of Stephen Ross and therefore fundraisers for the likes of Donald Trump are unacceptable. As long as he owns you, I will not be riding. #StephenRoss https://t.co/FdLkhzMed7— Amber Tamblyn (@ambertamblyn) August 7, 2019
Hey @soulcycle : For as much love, acceptance and community as you preach; your owner is throwing a fundraiser for someone who is absolutely antithetical to that message. Super bummed I’ll have to find a new spin studio. I did love you guys.— Jodie Sweetin (@JodieSweetin) August 8, 2019
Even Michael Moore made an obvious joke (though, most responded as though he were being serious, but whatever):
Hollywood and influencer types do not want to support a company that makes money for a man who supports Donald Trump, which — good for them! My guess is that most of the hundreds of people who work for SoulCycle also do not support Donald Trump, although sadly they will end up taking the brunt of this boycott should it materialize in a big way (Stephen Ross is a billionaire and probably does not give a damn because the profits he generates from SoulCycle are likely dwarfed by the savings he gets from the Trump tax cuts). That really sucks for everyone involved (except for Stephen Ross, sadly), but I get it, and why this particular Trump-supporting billionaire is a hill worth standing on given the nature of that relationship.
In defense of himself, Stephen Ross says he has “always been an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, and diversity,” but if he means that, the best thing he could do would be to sell his stake in SoulCycle to someone who does not support Trump, a gesture that would benefit what I understand are hundreds of employees who actually do champion racial equality, inclusion, and diversity. But selfless acts aren’t exactly the calling cards of Trump supporters: My guess is that he’d rather go down with the ship and take what would probably be a beneficial tax write off.