Democratic strategist calls SoulCycle response to backlash 'complete hypocrisy'
By Tess Bonn 8/8/19
Democratic strategist Andrew Feldman ripped fitness chain SoulCycle, calling their response to the backlash over their founder's high-dollar fundraiser for President Trump’s reelection campaign “complete hypocrisy.”
“It’s complete hypocrisy — the statement by the CEO of SoulCycle is hypocrisy,” Feldman, founder of progressive firm Feldman Strategies, told Hill.TV, referring to a statement from from SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan.
“You cannot promote diversity and equality and then at the same time support this CEO, this owner standing by the president,” he added. "This undermines all the values of all the progressives that go and enjoy Soul Cycle and Equinox, I say find another gym."
A spokeswoman for SoulCycle did not immediately respond to Hill.TV's request for comment.
Feldman’s comments come after the Washington Post reported on Wednesday that Stephen Ross, the founder and CEO of The Related Companies, which owns both SoulCycle and Equinox, plans to host a fundraiser luncheon for the president on Friday.
The report prompted a outcry across social media from SoulCycle and Equinox customers who oppose Trump.
Both companies have sought to distance themselves from Ross following the report, and issued statements maintaining that they have nothing to do with the event and do not support it.
“We believe in tolerance and equality, and will always stay true to those values,” Whelan said in a statement. “Mr. Ross is a passive investor and is not involved in the management of either business. We appreciate all who have reached out to us.”
Still, a growing number of celebrities, including actor Billy Eichner, have taken to Twitter this week to announce that they are boycotting the gyms in light of the campaign event.
“Just contacted @Equinox to cancel my membership after many years,” Eichner tweeted on Wednesday. “Money talks, especially with these monsters.”
Writer and model Chrissy Teigen also joined Eichner’s calls, calling on fans who cancel their Equinox and Soul Cycle memberships to meet her at the library and “bring weights.”
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, a 2020 White House contender, meanwhile touted the YMCA as an alternative to the high-end gyms.
“Imagine the feeling of a work out that doesn’t also fund racism, xenophobia and the ultra-rich. Now open your eyes. I present to you the @ymca. Big fan,” he tweeted.