Peloton Suffers Another Major PR Nightmare as Another TV Show Features a Heart Attack on the Company's Bike
Season 6 of Showtime's 'Billions' featured a scary scene with one of its characters riding a bike.
The entertainment world was shook last month during the premier of HBO Max's Sex and the City reboot And Just Like That when longstanding character Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth) was killed off during the first episode after having a heart attack on a Peloton bike.
The exercise company attempted to capitalize on the controversial scene by hiring Noth for a commercial in which his character didn't die, featuring Peloton instructor Jess King.
"'SATC' fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack," Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a representative for Peloton's health and wellness advisory council said to the LA Times in a statement at the time. "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."
Related: Peloton Claps Back at Horrifying 'Sex and the City' Reboot Scene: 'He's Alive'
But now it's looking like the exercise company has another fire to put out.
Season 6 of Billions, which premiered on Showtime this weekend, took a page out of HBO's book by giving one of its characters Mike Wagner (played by David Costabile) a heart attack while riding a Peloton bike.
Wagner even references the And Just Like That scene by jokingly saying "I'm not going out like Mr. Big" following the incident.
Peloton, however, released a statement on social media claiming that the company did not explicitly give permission to Billions to feature the brand, as it did for And Just Like That.
"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," Peloton said on Twitter. "As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives."
The latest is just another blow in a long string of PR nightmares for the company.
Last week, shares of Peloton plummeted after the company announced that it would be pulling back and halting on production of its bikes and treadmill due to a vast decrease in demand following the pandemic.
Peloton was down a steep 82% year over year as of Monday morning.