Peloton’s Appearance in ‘Billions’ Premiere Marks Second Ill-Fated Cameo

In the Season 6 opener, one of the Showtime series’ central characters suffers a heart attack after riding a Peloton bike
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It’s been a challenging few weeks for Peloton.

Television viewers may recall the shocking death of Carrie Bradshaw’s husband, Mr. Big (Chris Noth) in the premiere of HBO’s Sex and the City reboot, And Just Like That…, when he suffered a heart attack after riding one of Peleton’s stationary bikes.

Now, just weeks after the high-end fitness company attempted to prove that their workouts are completely safe, a second prestige TV series has depicted one of its characters being taken down after using a Peloton product.

In the season 6 premiere of the Showtime white-collar crime series, Billions, David Costabile’s character Mike “Wags” Wagner went into cardiac arrest after riding a Peloton bike. But lucky for Wanger, who is an executive at the hedge fund on the show, he survives the heart attack and returns to work a week later.

“I’m not going out like Mr. Big,” Wagner, better known as “Wags,” said to his employees upon his return.

In a statement, the Billions’ executive producers said the scene was written and shot last spring, months before the Mr. Big’s fictional death, which aired in December. The line about Mr. Big was added only recently in post production.

“We added the line because it was what Wags would say,” they said in the statement.

Still, Peloton isn’t pleased with the ill-fated name drop.

“We get why these fictional TV shows would want to include a brand that people love to talk about, but Showtime’s use of Peloton’s Bike+ and reference to a Peloton Instructor was not a brand, product, or instructor placement, and we did not agree for our brand and IP to be used on this show or provide any equipment, Peloton said in a statement. “As referenced by the show itself, there are strong benefits of cardio-vascular exercise to help people lead long, happy lives.”

The company attempted to clear its name by responding with a cheeky online ad that showed a very much alive Mr. Big (Noth) and his Peloton instructor lounging near a fireplace. But the video was ultimately taken down after The Hollywood Reporter published an article in which two women accused Noth of sexual assault. Noth has called the accusations “categorically false” and has since been accused of sexual misconduct by multiple others.

Just last week, CNBC reported that Peloton is temporarily halting production of its products due to a decrease in demand. The company’s co-founder and CEO, John Foley, released a statement Thursday saying the report is false, but did say that Peloton is considering layoffs. Peloton’s stock dropped 24 percent on Thursday, the New York Times reports.


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