Beloved on-screen characters flaunting a real-life product in a film or series is perhaps the best kind of advertising for a brand. But for the popular exercise equipment company, Peloton, this so isn’t the scenario. The Sarah Jessica Parker revival of HBO‘s Sex and the City , And Just Like That, debuted its first two episodes and sent the company’s stock price plummeting after a lead character died from a fatal heart attack while vigorously exercising on a Peloton bike.
There are spoilers for the big death in the pilot episode of the Sex and the City reboot up ahead. The first episode of the HBO Max series saw John James Preston, aka Mr. Big (Chris Noth) exercising on an expensive Peloton ride with his instructor, Allegra (played by real Peloton instructor Jess King). He suddenly sufferers a major heart attack. Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie Bradshaw tries to comfort her husband but he soon dies in her arms. Apart from attracting the ire of the fans of the original series, the series also sent Peloton’s shares on a downward spiral. They plunged a whopping 11% after the premiere of the episodes as people took to social media platforms to debate whether Peloton’s bikes are truly hazardous for one’s heart as they might trigger a deadly coronary episode.
So, Peloton’s shares plummeted due to a made-up character who died due to a fictional twist in the Sarah Jessica Parker starrer series. No matter how absurd the situation sounds, the company was forced to do some damage control to stop any further deterioration in the value of its shares. Hence cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum — a part of Peloton’s Health & Wellness Advisory Council — had to come forward to explain why a fictional character’s death is because of his fictional lifestyle and is not because of the company’s bikes.
In her statement to Us Weekly, Steinbaum addressed how she too is saddened by Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie suffering another loss in her life. She further explained that the cause of Mr. Big’s fatal heart attack was his “extravagant lifestyle,” which included a long list of unhealthy items like including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks. She also highlighted that he was already at serious risk of having a heart attack as he had suffered from heart problems throughout the original series and chances are that it was his regular Peloton rides that managed to delay the inevitable.
“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,” she said. Steinbaum further stressed that even if you have a history of heart problems like Mr. Big in the Sarah Jessica Parker series, it can be still be treated and you can continue with your Peloton bike workouts as it allows you to “track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely.”
Post the unexpected drop in their shares’ value, Peloton spokesperson Denise Kelly released a statement (via Buzzfeed) that the company knew that one of its bikes would appear in the first episode starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Chris Noth, adding that they did allow King to appear as a fictional instructor in the Sex and The City revival. But they weren’t aware of how the bike would be placed in the storyline as “due to confidentiality reasons, HBO did not disclose the broader context surrounding the scene to Peloton in advance.”
Apart from majorly hurting Peloton’s shares, And Just Like That seems to have let down countless Sex and The City fans who are disappointed by Chris Noth’s sudden death in the revival series and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Carrie’s continued streak of bad luck.
Well, there are still six episodes left in the series and given its current trajectory, we are already dreading the possibility of more heartbreaks And Just Like That may have in store for Sarah Jessica Parker.