Ian Reisner and Mati Weiderpass (who are themselves gay), own the OUT Hotel which encompasses 42West. Reisner also recently purchased a strip of commercial property in Fire Island Pines, which includes the Pavilion nightclub. The two hosted Senator Cruz and posed for photographs with the politician in their Manhattan penthouse April 20. The controversial meeting was reported in the New York Times.
A heated online debate quickly followed, with many LGBT New Yorkers calling for boycotts of the OUT Hotel and Reisner's venture in the Pines.
Both Reisner and Weiderpass moved to distance themselves from Cruz's political positions, each releasing statements in the days following the New York Times report.
It proved too little, too late for BC/EFA which announced April 24 that it would cancel Broadway Bares Solo Strips.
A statement from Viola follows: It is with regret that we have decided to cancel this year’s edition of the Broadway Bares Solo Strips fundraiser, which was scheduled for May 10 at the NYC club 42West. We cannot in good conscience hold an event at a venue whose owners have alienated our community, as reflected in an April 23 New York Times story and an April 24 follow-up post.
We do business with and accept fundraising support from a variety of people across a wide spectrum of political and religious affiliations. The rich diversity of our community makes what we do together so special. It is a rare instance where the actions of a donor negatively impacts us as an organization and potentially jeopardizes our relationship with others whose support is integral to our success. But when it does occur, in a way that’s blatantly against all we stand and work for, we can’t pretend it doesn’t come with consequences. Silence is not a neutral position. It is complicit.
This is not about partisan politics or punishment. This is about doing what’s right to ultimately ensure that our commitment to the men, women and children we serve cannot be questioned.