This is Denis Morton, one of my favorite instructors
Spoilers for previously aired episode of Billions
In December, Peloton did some damage control when And Just Like That’s first episode showed Mr. Big dying of a heart attack after a workout on one of their spin bikes. While Peloton had approved the use of their product in the episode, they were not given the plot specifics ahead of time. The company issued a statement that exercise improved cardiovascular performance and likely helped Mr. Big live longer than he would have otherwise. They also quickly put out an ad featuring Chris Noth and instructor Jess King, which was promptly pulled when Noth was accused of rape.
This week, the sixth season of Billions premiered on Showtime. Like AJLT, their opening episode featured a character having a heart attack on a Peloton. It turns out that scene was written before AJLT aired and was just a coincidence. The character, Mike “Wags” Wagner, survived and said, in a line that was added post-script, that he wasn’t going to die “like Mr. Big” . (Kaiser watches Billions and told me that Wags is a horrible, depraved character who does a lot of drugs and sleeps with much younger women.)
Peloton is once again responding to this, and in this instance they said they did not approve of the use of their bike or brand on Billions.
In the latest episode of “Billions,” Yahoo reports that the character Mike “Wags” Wagner, played by David Costabile, suffers a similar cardiac episode after a workout on his Peloton.
In a statement provided to Fox Business, a Peloton spokesperson explained that the use of its bike in the show was not done in conjunction with the company. In other words. However, it notes that even the show references the fact that cardiovascular exercise is good for someone at risk of a heart attack.
“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,” the statement reads. “As referenced by the show itself, there are strong benefits of cardio-vascular exercise to help people lead long, happy lives.”
And it’s Wags who does the comparing: Later in Sunday’s episode of “Billions,” EMTs tell him he’s having a heart attack, and he declares “I’m not going out like Mr. Big.”
The episode was written and shot last spring, but the high-finance drama’s executive producers told the New York Times that the line was overdubbed in postproduction after Big’s shocking death made headlines last month.
[From Fox Business]
It doesn’t sound like Peloton is going to sue at all, which would be massively stupid on their part. They’re going through other issues right now, mostly related to how quickly they’ve grown and what a douche their CEO is. They’re a major brand and they’re going to be featured on shows in both positive and negative ways. This reminds me about a detail with Apple products on screen my son told me about. Apparently you can use Apple products on film, but villains can’t ever be shown with them! Maybe Peloton should include a stipulation that their products can’t be shown leading to health issues for characters.
Peloton’s CEO, John Foley:
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