TV Shows Have It Out for Peloton

TV Shows Have It Out for Peloton

by Hedy Phillips

Peloton was hit with bad news when one of its bikes was negatively featured in the premiere episode of And Just Like That... in December, and the hits just keep coming. On Jan. 23, the show Billions also took a swing at Peloton, and the fitness company is not having it.

It all started with the Sex and the City reboot, reboot, when Mr. Big (Chris Noth) dies as a result of riding his at-home stationary bike. In response, Peloton quickly put together a commercial featuring the character in an effort to revive him and save the brand at least a little bit. This, of course, was shot to hell when multiple women came forward accusing Chris of sexual assault soon after. Peloton promptly pulled the ad from rotation.

Peloton saw an 11% drop in its stock following the appearance in And Just Like That…, according to CNN, and Noth’s allegations didn’t help the matter. But just when Peloton was trying to lay low, the company got another kick in the face when the character Mike Wagner (played by David Costabile) had a heart attack while riding his bike during the premiere of Billions. Fortunately for Peloton (and the character), he makes it through.

It took no time at all for Peloton to address the episode, tweeting, “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.”

It’s been a bit of a roller coaster for Peloton since the holidays in 2019, when the fitness company put together what was most likely intended as a heartwarming Christmas commercial, but instead played out like a miniature horror flick (likened to Get Out and Black Mirror) spotlighting a man threatening his thin wife over her appearances by buying her a Peloton bike that would somehow "change her life." Peloton’s stock took a dip in the wake of the ad.

And though Peloton fared just fine during COVID, thanks to many making the switch to home gyms while fitness centers were closed, CNN reported that Peloton’s share price dropped 75% in 2021 and is still not faring well. We can’t help but wonder if this latest hit from Billions will take Peloton down yet another notch.

Photo via Getty/ Ezra Shaw