For the second time in as many months, viewers have watched a tv character suffering a massive heart attack whilst just trying to keep fit on a Peloton machine. Understandably, the exercise machine brand isn’t too happy.
In December of 2021, the premiere of “Sex and the City” revival series “And Just Like That…” shocked viewers with the death of husband of protagonist Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), John ‘Mr. Big’ Preston (Chris Noth). The longtime love interest suffers a fatal heart attack after his 1,000th workout on his Peloton machine, and immediately sent real life Peloton stocks dropping in response.
Peloton attempted some damage control by fielding a commercial poking fun at the shocking event. Shot in less than 48 hours and entitled “He’s Alive,” the commercial starred Mr. Big actor Noth and Ryan Reynolds, and showed the character cheerfully continuing to own his Peloton after apparently faking his own death to escape his wife.
Shortly after the ad aired, multiple allegations of sexual assault against Noth resulted in Peloton pulling the commercial from air. He has subsequently been removed from the finale of “And Just Like That…,” and fired from Fox’s “The Equalizer.”
SHOWTIME’s hit show “Billions” season 6 premiere has another major character suffering a similar fate. ‘Wags’ Wagner, the foul mouthed but fiercely loyal business confidant played by David Costabile, is seen to be working out on his Peloton before being struck by a heart attack. Unlike Mr. Big, Wags survives his heart attack, but the apparent statement about Peloton is made nonetheless.
The brand posted an official response to their Twitter account after the episode aired.
Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a member of Peloton’s health and wellness advisory board, also released a statement on behalf of Peloton. She said of the “And Just Like That…” scene:
“Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle, including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks, and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in season 6. These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death.” Dr. Steinbaum went on to suggest that: “Riding his Peloton may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”
Peloton has announced plans to cease production of their treadmills and bikes. Their stock prices have yet to recover.