Update 12/12/21: Peloton has responded to the situation with a video that confirms they were aware of the storyline from the beginning.
Well, Mr. Big is dead. Sorry, too late for spoiler alerts! And “I couldn’t help but wonder,” to quote the now-bereaved Carrie Bradshaw, is Peloton in on the game or not? Last night’s first episode of The Sex and the City reboot saw Big’s death while vigorously pedaling on a Peloton – the company is denying any involvement in the plot twist. The company stock did take a dip after the show aired, but this product placement, intentional or not, is likely a good thing for the brand.
Chris Noth’s famed love-to-hate Mr. Big suffered a heart attack moments into the first episode of HBO’s And Just Like That…, apparently after completing his thousandth ride with Allegra (aka real-life Jess King). But Peloton’s cardiologist Suzanne Steinbaum was at the ready with official comments, saying Peloton had nothing to do with his unfortunate death. For that, you can blame the cocktails, cigars, and steaks.
“I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack,” Steinbaum said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. “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.”
Note: He puffed a cigar right before his Peloton workout. Death wish sealed.
Steinbaum continues: “These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton Bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event.”
Is this all seeming rather silly?
Peloton says that HBO did contact them before the show, and contacted King separately, but that the company had no involvement in or knowledge of how the story would play out. “Due to confidentiality reasons, HBO did not disclose the larger context surrounding the scene to Peloton in advance,” Peloton spokesperson Denise Kelly told BuzzFeed. ”It wouldn’t be the first time someone or something has been blindsided by Big.” Groan.
But did King know about Big’s death when she signed on for the cameo? So far, she hasn’t given any statements beyond posting the series premiere via social media.
Peloton stock did take a dip following the premiere, but the stock has been volatile in this rollercoaster pandemic year, with gyms opening back up and brand appeal facing its up and downs – chances of any permanent damage are pretty much nil. It’s likely media hype fluff, and nothing compared to Peloton’s major misfire in 2019 with the worst ad of all time. As Bloomberg said, Peloton losing control of its storytelling (if that is in fact what happened) is probably the best thing to happen to the brand this year.