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To quote a famous philosopher, life moves pretty fast. No one has a better sense of that lately than Monica Ruiz. The actress picked up what probably seemed like a pretty run-of-the-mill commercial gig for Peloton about a wife getting an exercise bike. She filmed it. Almost immediately the internet turned on it, and the spot went super viral, mostly for the wrong reasons. Then she filmed a response commercial for Ryan Reynolds’ Aviation Gin (seen here), and now people are praising her for how well she handled the whole thing.
That classiness has also now extended to a statement, as well. In it, Monica Ruiz thanks both Peloton and Aviation for the work, and while she references some of the negativity that was unfairly angled toward her, she doesn’t dwell on it or try to shame anyone else. The whole thing is very admirable. You can check out her statement below, courtesy of Deadline…
“I was happy to accept a job opportunity earlier this year from Peloton and the team was lovely to work with. Although I’m an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight and I’m terrible on social media. So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement. When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation. I am grateful to both Peloton and now Aviation Gin for the work and giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do.”
For those of you who are out of the loop, the Peloton commercial in question features a woman who receives an exercise bike, specifically a Peloton exercise bike, from her husband. She records herself working out on her fitness journey and then creates a video thanking her husband for getting the bike. Some felt the commercial implied the husband was forcing her to work out. Others took exception because of the odd thank you to the husband at the end. Regardless of what was intended, the commercial clearly didn’t hit the notes it was going for, and Twitter users spent days roasting it. The company's stock price even took a hit over the backlash. You can check the spot out below…
Following the social media backlash to the commercial, Sean Hunter (not the Boy Meets World character), the actor who plays the husband, appeared on Good Morning America and discussed how dark the feedback got for him, noting people “create any dialogue they want”. Certainly, social media tends to amplify reactions and can often serve to push people to more extreme opinions as they seek out and find people who agree with them.
Long story short, a big congratulations to Monica Ruiz for finding a way to make lemonade out of this mess. You never can quite speculate on what someone’s career might look like following a project. After all, we just found out the dude who played Aladdin hasn’t been getting auditions following the live action adaptation, but we can all certainly keep our fingers crossed that this opens more doors and hopefully turns into a blessing.