Peloton Responds to Sex and the City Controversy With Own Video

Major spoiler alert
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 13, 2021 12:02 AM CST

First things first: Major spoilers for the Sex and the City sequel series, And Just Like That..., follow, so turn back now if you haven't watched the first episode, which premiered on HBO Max on Thursday. Peloton, which let the world know it was not happy with the storyline involving Chris Noth's "Mr. Big" character dying of a heart attack after his 1,000th Peloton ride, on Sunday released an ad ... featuring Noth and Jess King, the real-life Peloton instructor who played Big's instructor, Allegra, on the show. Noth and King are cozied up on a couch together, considering taking another ride because "life's too short not to," Noth says as the camera pans back to show two Peloton bikes. Then, a voiceover by Ryan Reynolds reminds viewers that cycling is good for your heart, ending with a quick "He's alive." What does it all mean?

  • Faked his death? The ad seems to imply Big faked his own death so he could run off to be with his Peloton instructor, writes Bethy Squires at Vulture.
  • So, is this all a publicity stunt? Squires wonders if Peloton was in on this "controversy" the whole time, but points out that Reynolds himself coined the term "fast-vertising," so it's possible the company really did just respond this quickly. Peloton has said it knew nothing of the actual plotline until the episode debuted, CNET reports, but Variety notes the company had approved the use of the bike (which the show purchased) and the appearance of King. "We filmed the spot in New York City this weekend and the entire project came together in less than 48 hours," a Peloton rep says in a statement.
  • What does Reynolds have to do with it, anyway? The actor launched a marketing company, Maximum Effort (acquired this year by MNTN, which made the Peloton ad), and some readers may remember that he made an ad for Aviation Gin, a company in which he owns a stake, involving the so-called "Peloton Wife" back in 2019. In fact, that was the ad that launched his company onto the global scene, AdWeek reports. Interestingly, that ad (with which Peloton was not involved) and this ad (with which it was) both feature characters toasting "new beginnings."
  • Good call by Peloton: At Mashable, Adam Rosenberg writes that Peloton's initial peeved response to Big's death scene was a bit much, but this ad is a total "mic drop."
  • Heart rate: In that initial response, Peloton's own cardiologist pointed out to E! that the bike tracks users' heart rates, so riders can get their workout on safely.
  • A somewhat related question: Jonah Hill, on Instagram, asked the question many fans were likely wondering as the pivotal And Just Like That... scene played: "But why didn't Carrie call 911 immediately?!" Us reports other celebrities, along with multiple other commenters, agreed with Hill, with some wondering why Carrie wouldn't have grabbed a baby aspirin or one of the nitroglycerin pills mentioned earlier in the episode.
  • So ... why didn't she? Per Today, showrunner Michael Patrick King told an ET reporter "the moment is slowed down—they stretched what would’ve actually been a split second for Carrie to a longer moment so we’d all feel the pain."
(More Sex and the City stories.)

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