Equinox and SoulCycle officials distanced themselves Wednesday from billionaire Stephen Ross’ decision to support President Trump’s re-election campaign - which triggered calls among celebrities to boycott the brands.
Ross serves as chairman and majority owner of The Related Companies, the parent company of Equinox and SoulCycle. The 79-year-old businessman is set to host a lavish fundraiser for Trump at his Hamptons mansion on Friday, with donors expected to spend up to $250,000 on tickets to attend.
Ross’ involvement in the fundraiser led many social media users to say they planned to cancel their memberships at the fitness clubs. Comedian Billy Eichner and model Chrissy Teigen were among notable celebrities who called for a boycott.
“Many members raised their concerns about a political fundraiser taking place later this week,” the companies said in a joint statement. “We want to let you know that Equinox and SoulCycle have nothing to do with the event and do not support it. As is consistent with our policies, no company profits are used to fund politicians.”
The two brands noted that Ross is a “passive investor” without involvement in their day-to-day operations. SoulCycle CEO Melanie Whelan noted that the company is “committed to our community, and creating a safe space where all are welcome.”
President Trump's campaign stood by the billionaire businessman, telling FOX Business on Thursday, "He's a great American exercising his 1st Amendment right."
Ross is a prominent real estate magnate who led the development of New York City’s Hudson Yards district in recent years. He has a personal net worth of $7.7 billion, according to Forbes. He owns the NFL’s Miami Dolphins.
The Washington Post was first to report Ross’ involvement in the fundraiser.
FOX Business' Blake Burman contributed to this report
This story has been updated to include comment from the Trump campaign