Peloton Responds After Another TV Show Character Has A Heart Attack While Using Its Bike
Peloton can just not catch a break and the company is now coming out and publicly distancing itself from show Billions after a character on the recent season premiere had a heart attack on one of their exercise bikes. As everyone pretty much knows by now, a Peloton bike helped kill Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth) in the Sex and the City revival And Just Like That… when the character had a heart attack after riding one. The company managed to rework a stock drop and get a few hours of good press from that by using Chris in an ad for the bikes, but it soon was revealed Chris was an accused rapist and they had to pull the ads with him in them. Well, continuously triggering heart attacks on TV is not really the promo they’re looking for and they want you to know: Pelotons don’t really do that.
NBC News says that before And Just Like That… premiered, Peloton had known the show was using its bike in an episode but didn’t know they were using it to kill off a character. But according to Peloton, they had no idea Showtime was going to use its bike in an episode of Showtime’s Billions. During last night’s sixth season premiere, the character of Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, has a minor heart attack while riding a Peloton. The episode was filmed last spring, long before anyone knew about Mr. Big’s demise, but they recently added in a line referencing AJLT… where Mike says “I’m not going out like Mr. Big!” Funnier than the entirety of AJLT… to be honest. Definitely funnier than any stand-up Che Diaz does. Showrunners say to USA Today that once they saw the AJLT… death they had to do a small reshoot to get the line added in.
After And Just Like That… aired, “our phones blew up from everyone on the show texting each other,” Billions producer and co-creator Brian Koppelman told USA Today. “So all we did different was add one line.”
“It would be completely out of our character not to take a swing,” executive producer Beth Schacter told the publication, regarding the adding of the line. “It’s too good. We’re going to make the joke.”
Peloton is not really as amused about the snowball effect of bad references, so they tweeted that they have nothing to do with the show. They added that their equipment is actually helping people “lead long, happy lives.”
We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment. As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) January 23, 2022
A spokesperson for Peloton went ever further and tells NBC News:
“We get why these fictional TV shows would want to include a brand that people love to talk about, but Showtime’s use of Peloton’s Bike+ and reference to a Peloton Instructor was not a brand, product, or instructor placement, and we did not agree for our brand and IP to be used on this show or provide any equipment. As referenced by the show itself, there are strong benefits of cardio-vascular exercise to help people lead long, happy lives.”
Can’t wait for Peloton to send out a new company-wide mandate requiring staff to ask a new line of questions before each sale. “Are you going to use this Peloton to fake a heart attack on TV? If so, I can’t sell it to you.”