(Update: Peloton Removes Ad Amidst Sexual Assault Allegations Against Chris Noth) Ryan Reynolds Made Peloton the Perfect And Just Like That Response Ad
UPDATE: According to the Wall Street Journal, Peloton has removed the viral ad in response to the sexual assault allegations against Chris Noth. “Every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously,” said a Peloton spokeswoman Thursday, December 16th. “We were unaware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO’s reboot. As we seek to learn more, we have stopped promoting this video and archived related social posts.”
News of the sexual assault allegations broke on Thursday via The Hollywood Reporter (CW: sexual assault, as the report goes into detail about what happened)
Zoe, now 40, and Lily, now 31, both allege they were sexually assaulted by actor Chris Noth. The two women — who approached The Hollywood Reporter separately, months apart, and who do not know each other — said promotions and press reports of HBO Max’s Sex and the City sequel series And Just Like That, in which Noth reprises his role as Mr. Big, stirred painful memories of incidents they say occurred in Los Angeles in 2004 and in New York in 2015, respectively. To protect their privacy, THR is allowing both women to use pseudonyms.
Noth sent The Hollywood Reporter the following statement:
“The accusations against me made by individuals I met years, even decades, ago are categorically false. These stories could’ve been from 30 years ago or 30 days ago — no always means no — that is a line I did not cross. The encounters were consensual. It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women.”
The Peloton ad has been removed from YouTube and social media from the company and Ryan Reynolds.
Warning: Major spoilers for the premiere of And Just Like That… ahead.
Stationary bike/cult fitness company Peloton has responded to the kerfuffle caused by its role in the premiere of the Sex and the City limited series reboot And Just Like That…
In case you missed it, Peloton was heavily featured in the episode as Mr. Big (Chris Noth) geared up to take his 1,000th ride with his favorite instructor, Allegra, played by real-life Peloton instructor Jess King. Following his workout, Big climbs off his bike and immediately has a heart attack.
And in the actual words of Carrie’s voice-over narration from the episode, “And just like that … Big died.”
Peloton on 8 Dec: Yay, we have a product placement on #AndJustLikeThat 🎉
Peloton on 9 Dec: pic.twitter.com/Zozf9ngblm
— Ross Purves (@RossSPurves) December 9, 2021
Peloton was reportedly not aware of how its bike and brand were going to be used on the show and after the episode aired, the company’s stock dipped to its all-year low. A spokesperson released a statement saying other factors were likely more to blame for Big’s death and that exercise might actually have prolonged his life—an idea echoed by Miranda in the show’s second episode.
Now the company has released an ad made by Maximum Effort, the digital marketing firm co-founded by Ryan Reynolds, who also narrates the ad.
The commercial, which is titled “He’s Alive,” features Noth and Jess King (or possibly Big and Allegra?) sharing a romantic evening in front of a fireplace.
“To new beginnings,” the two cheers to each other. King tells Noth he looks great.
“I feel great,” Noth replies. “Shall we take another ride? Life’s too short not to.”
As they laugh, the camera pans out to show dual Pelotons and Reynolds’ voice-over comes in, speaking quickly like the side-effects tag at the end of an ad for prescription medication.
“And just like that, the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs, and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases,” he says, his speech becoming even more rapid. “Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse, and reduces blood fat levels—he’s alive.”
respect to Chris Noth and Chris Noth only for getting his check for both “And Just Like That…” and this Peloton ad that suggests Mr. Big faked his own death so he could leave Carrie Bradshaw and run away with Jess King!!!!!!!https://t.co/8d8rO9OaQB
— Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) December 12, 2021
Chris Noth getting paid bags of money to do an episode and a half of a show, then bags more to make fun of it is one of the best flexes I’ve ever seen https://t.co/UqwV60lV2W
— Justin Sherin (@wychstreet) December 13, 2021
This isn’t the first time Reynolds and Maximum Effort have capitalized on a viral Peloton moment in need of damage control. Two years ago, Reynolds nabbed the “Peloton wife” from the company’s widely-mocked recent ad and put her in an ad for his own Aviation Gin.
As with the latest Mr. Big ad, the turnaround on the idea was lightning fast, coming out just a few days after the original spot went viral. (Which happened a few weeks after it was first released.)
— Ryan Reynolds (@VancityReynolds) December 7, 2019
if we can put that spot together in 48 hours, you can do your workout today
— Peloton (@onepeloton) December 13, 2021
If Reynolds is going to have this much success with a parody ad, it’s probably smart of Peloton to get him on their side of things. According to CNBC, the company’s stock rose more than 5% today. Who knows if that’s because of the ad or because the stock market is meaningless but either way, this couldn’t have hurt.
Today Peloton introduced the concept of Schrödinger’s Big, a character who may be considered simultaneously both alive and dead as a result of his fate being linked to opposing corporate interests
— Casey Newton (@CaseyNewton) December 13, 2021
Peloton stock tumbling 11% in one day due to a fictional plot twist concerning a fictional character in a fictional television show is yet more evidence that the stock market is idiotic and shouldn’t be used as a prime determinative factor in global economics.
— Scott Mendelson (@ScottMendelson) December 10, 2021
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