This post contains spoilers for the Season 6 premiere of Billions. Fewer brands have been hit harder by bad press than Peloton recently, and another television show has featured a character having a heart attack while riding the brand's exercise bike. The sixth season of the Showtime drama Billions premiered on Sunday night, and the episode featured Mike "Wags" Wagner (David Costabile) having a heart attack on his Peloton bike, just like Mr. Big (Chris Noth) in the Sex and the City revival, And Just Like That. However, Wags survives and even quips that he's "not going out like Mr. Big" in the aftermath.
Apparently, the scene was filmed back In spring 2021, months before And Just Like That's debut. However, producers told The New York Times that the reference was overdubbed in postproduction to reflect "what Wags would say," but that the storyline's inclusion was a coincidence.
Peloton's stock plummeted after the fictional Mr. Big's death, to the point where the brand released a statement following the episode. "I'm sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack. Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle — including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks — and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6," the company stated in a statement from Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum via Us Weekly. "These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event." Peloton even seized onto the cultural moment to have Noth star in a commercial poking fun at the moment, claiming Mr. Big did not really die. Ryan Reynolds narrated the commercial, which also starred Peloton instructor Jess King. Reynolds' Maximum Effort marketing company produced the ad. The commercial cost $80,000 to produce and quickly went viral.
However, Noth was subsequently accused of sexual assault by several women. After the allegations against Noth were published, Peloton, Maximum Effort, and Reynolds deleted the commercial. "Every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously," Peloton spokesperson told THR Thursday. "We were unaware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO's reboot. As we seek to learn more, we have stopped promoting this video and archived related social posts."