Out SoulCycle Instructor Accused of Line-Skipping for COVID-19 Vaccine

by Kevin Schattenkirk

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday February 4, 2021

Superstar SoulCycle instructor Stacey Griffith is in hot water over having used her status to line-skip and receive a COVID-19 vaccination while others in more urgent need wait, Vox reports.

Griffith, who reportedly earns somewhere in the ballpark of $800 per cycling class because of her popularity as an instructor, announced her vaccination in a now-deleted Instagram post from Friday — which is included as a screenshot in the Vox piece. In the post, Griffith said:

"VACCINE [needle emoji] DAY ! Step one of the Moderna magic !! One hour drive to STATEN ISLAND worth every minute ! It taks a village @michellesmithnyc @lizmoran920 @shoeluva @miller.rainey @balbom3434 thank you for always helping me keep my patience when it comes to filling out online forms, sending in paperwork, and keeping my patience :) Now I can teach @soulcycle with a little more faith that we're all gonna be ok if we get the [needle emoji]! #vaccine #covid19 #getvaccinated #moderna"

As Vox notes, New York City — where Griffith is located — is in phase 1b of the vaccine rollout, which should include health care workers, grocery store staffers, residents over 65, and teachers. Griffith told the Daily Beast that she said she is an educator in her vaccination paperwork. Furthermore, she feels it is her obligation to "keep my community and their respiratory systems operating at full capacity so they can beat this virus if they are infected by it."

Griffith's post received backlash, some of which came from fellow SouylCycle instructors, questioning how she was able to cut the line and receive the vaccine before others in more dire need. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio addressed Griffith in a press conference, saying "doesn't sound like someone who should've gotten vaccinated to me. I don't think someone who shows up and says, 'Hey, I'm a SoulCycle instructor,' should have qualified unless there's some other factor there."

SoulCycle — a company which has received criticism for its allegedly toxic work environment and allowing affluent clients to behave poorly — has distanced itself from Griffith. A spokesperson for the company told Vox:

"Stacey Griffith operated in a personal capacity in applying for a NY State COVID-19 vaccine. SoulCycle plays no role in organizing or obtaining vaccinations for instructors or other employees nor do we encourage any of our SoulCycle employees to seek vaccine priority as educators."

Vox also obtained a memo from SoulCycle to its staff saying that "instructors do not qualify as educators to receive the vaccine based solely on their roles at SoulCycle and should not be attempting to receive the vaccine unless they are otherwise eligible to do so, based on appropriate state regulations."

Griffith's line-skipping is particularly bad in light of the problems surrounding the vaccine's rollout in terms of technology and ease of scheduling, for the elderly, vaccine shortages or doses being thrown away, and — in Griffith's home city — vaccination sites set up to serve a Latinx neighborhood but instead serving white people from other locales. Perhaps some issues Griffith might consider when she gets her second dose.

On Monday, the SoulCycle instructor issued an apology on Instagram — with comments disabled — saying, "I want to apologize from the bottom of my heart for my recent action in receiving the vaccine. I made a terrible error in judgment and for that I'm truly sorry."

In December, fashion designer Michelle Smith announced she is in a relationship with Griffith.

Kevin Schattenkirk is an ethnomusicologist and pop music aficionado.