Peloton has been facing some severe backlash against their most recent commercial this holiday season. Within the commercial, we see a couple in the beginning. A husband giving his wife a Peloton bike for Christmas, and then we are following the wife, actress Monica Ruiz, for the rest of the commercial. She takes us on all of her bike journey’s through her documentations on her phone, and at the end we see the couple again a year later. She gifts her husband with a compilation of videos of her using the bike, and she expresses emotional gratitude towards him and the gift.
So what’s the backlash from? Many are angry with Peloton for the commercial because it is seen as sexist and creepy. The husband is gifting his already thin wife with exercise equipment which caused grief, and Ruiz also faced some backlash because of it. People were saying she looked scared in some shots of the commercial which elevated the sexist criticism. Ruiz said during a TODAY interview “My eyebrows looked worried I guess. People were like, ‘You look scared.’ I’m telling you, it was my face, that was the problem, and it just exploded it from there. She looks worried.”
Ruiz was hesitant to speak out against all the controversy regarding the ad, but finally agreed to an interview on TODAY. She did not want to weigh in on the subject because she was appreciative of Peloton and the opportunity, but finally decided to say her own piece on the matter. She joked that “I’m OK,” she said. “I’m not in a rehab for mental health anywhere.” Following this ad, she was cast by Ryan Reynolds to do a follow up commercial for his own company, Aviation Gin. In this commercial, Ruiz toasts to “new beginnings,” and chugs down a gin martini, remarking its smoothness. She’s out with some friends as they watch her take down the drink. Reynolds posted the commercial on his Instagram page, saying “exercise bike not included.” Aviation Gin also posted the ad on their Instagram with the caption “This Holiday…Gift Responsibly.”
Peloton stands by their commercial, but has been met with a loss of nearly $1 billion dollars according to TODAY. Next time, think before you bike.