"Shocked and overwhelmed..."
There has been a lot of Peloton talk in the news this week - more than one would ever expect. As problematic ads often do, they ultimately just bring more attention to the company under fire, which is the underlying goal of advertising. I could tell you that I didn't even know what a Peleton was before this whole fiasco (not that I could afford to buy one now that I do). However, I suppose there is some justice in the world because the Peloton's stock reportedly suffered a $942 million devaluation following the backlash for their "The Gift That Gives Back" commercial.
For those who haven't seen or heard about the incendiary ad yet, it involves a man gifting his already-toned wife a stationary bike for the holidays. The wife develops an obsession with her new fitness toy and begins riding it daily, enthusiastically documenting her journey to nowhere. Not only were people angered by the antiquated marital dynamics depicted, but the fact that the commercial was set in a mansion added a disturbing class dimension. However, considering Peloton's bikes start at around $3,000, you have to think about their target demographic.
Amidst all the discourse, there was no comment from "Peleton wife", until now. The actress who played this pivotal character is named Monica Ruiz. In a statement made to Deadline, Ruiz said: "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."
Ruiz did have a moment of redemption when she was casted in a commercial for Ryan Reynold's spirits brand, Aviation Gin, a few days after the controversy. "When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation," she said. "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."
"Peleton husband" also addressed the backlash. You could read his remarks here.