As Trevor Noah explained on Thursday night’s Daily Show, “historically, rich people have hosted fundraisers for political candidates” without garnering much attention. But that was before President Donald Trump.
This week, after the news broke that Stephen Ross, the billionaire owner of the high-end gyms Equinox and SoulCycle, was hosting a high-dollar fundraiser for Trump, a celebrity-fueled boycott movement started to grow.
Noah zeroed in the statement Ross released defending his support for Trump. “But I’ll be honest,” the host said, “I think it only made things worse.”
“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. “I have been, and will continue to be, an outspoken champion of racial equality, inclusion, diversity, public education and environmental sustainability, and I have and will continue to support leaders on both sides of the aisle to address these challenges.”
“OK, let’s get something straight,” Noah replied. “If you’re hosting a fundraiser for Donald Trump, I don’t know if you can call yourself a ‘champion’ of racial equality and inclusion. You’re not a champion. You can call yourself a contender of racial equality. You can call yourself a part-time participant of racial equality. You can call yourself a dabbler of racial equality. Not a champion!”
What Ross was trying to convey, the host explained, is that he supports the “business side” of Trump but not the “racism side.” But if you “actually listen” to what he’s saying, the message is very different.
“What he’s actually saying without realizing it is that he can afford to support Trump’s business side,” Noah said, “because Trump’s racism side doesn’t affect him.”