No one expected the Peloton exercise bike ad to go viral. Since its release, the commercial has been slammed for upholding gender stereotypes, among other things. While the actor who plays the Peloton husband was shocked by the “malicious” online reactions, it’s Ryan Reynolds, who’s had a string of good and bad movies, who had the best response to the controversial Peloton ad.
In the Peloton ad, a husband gifts his wife an exercise bike. Sounds simple enough, but the commercial changes and ends with the wife gifting him with a video of her using the bike (scared looks and all) a year later. Afterward, the ad received backlash for being sexist. However, Ryan Reynolds thought it would be a great idea to hire the Peloton ad wife to be in his company’s commercial for Aviation Gin.
Ryan Reynolds tweeted a response, along with an ad of Aviation Gin featuring the Peloton actress, Monica Ruiz. You can watch the commercial below!
There’s no doubt that the Aviation Gin commercial was a direct response to the Peloton exercise bike commercial. In the ad, the wife is sitting quietly in front of her alcoholic beverage and her friends tell her that she’s “safe here” and that she “looks great.” Did the Peloton wife leave her Peloton husband? It sure sounds like it.
Not doing so great is the actor who played the Peloton husband. Identified as Sean Hunter by Psychology Today, the actor and elementary school teacher shared with the publication how his life was affected by the minor commercial role. He gave a lengthy response about how his positive experience making the controversial ad turned into online backlash. Here’s what he had to say about it:
Unfortunately, the problem is that viewers can mistake an actor as that person after they’ve seen them on television instead of a person given a script with no opinion on what they are being told to portray. As I continue to reflect on the commercial, I consider these thoughts: Why are people creating so many additional narratives to the story? Am I allowed to view the commercial positively after receiving such negative feedback? If recognized on the street, what will people’s first opinions be of me? The aftermath of the commercial has left me with more questions than answers, and this is only half the story. I reflect on what my co-actor must be dealing with, as she’s the other 25 seconds of the story.
Sean Hunter’s co-star Monica Ruiz seems to be doing ok actually, thanks to Ryan Reynolds casting her in an entirely new ad sans husband. Reynolds was obviously promoting his own company while doing so, but at least viewers have a different commercial to focus on with the same actress. Call it a shared ad universe. You can watch the original Peloton ad below.
If you’re looking for something else to watch besides exercise bike and gin commercials, be sure to check out our guide to what’s new and returning to TV in the winter and spring of 2020.