Peloton takes another PR hit after 'Billions' character has a heart attack while using its bike

David Costabile from Billions
David Costabile and Damian Lewis play characters on Showtime's "Billions" TV series.Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images for SHOWTIME
  • Peloton took a new public-relations hit on Friday.

  • A fictional TV character on the series "Billions" had a heart attack while using a Peloton bike.

  • The fitness company has had a tumultuous 12 months.

Warning: Spoilers ahead for the Showtime series "Billions" and for the HBO series "And Just Like That."

Peloton has taken a fresh public-relations hit to round off a turbulent few weeks.

The fitness company, which saw its stock price plummet Thursday after CNBC reported that it was halting the production of its bike and treadmill machines because of waning demand, then featured in the season-six premiere of the TV series "Billions" on Friday. During the episode, one of the leading characters, Mike Wagner, is shown to have a heart attack while using a Peloton bike. The episode was scheduled to run Sunday night but was given a surprise early release Friday, according to The New York Times.

The scene aired just weeks after the release of HBO's new "Sex and the City" reboot, "And Just Like That," in which the character Mr. Big, played by Chris Noth, had a fatal heart attack after using his Peloton bike in the first episode.

Wagner, played by the actor David Costabile, recovered after his heart attack and, according to The New York Times, said, "I'm not going out like Mr. Big." The Times cited a statement from the show's executive producers saying the scene was filmed last spring and the line was added in postproduction.

Peloton said in a statement on Twitter that it had not agreed to the use of its brand or intellectual property on the show and did not provide any equipment for the episode.

Peloton previously told Insider that while it was aware its bike would be used in the "Sex and the City" reboot, it was not aware of the full scope of the storyline.

"Due to confidentiality reasons, HBO Max did not disclose the broader context surrounding the scene in advance," a Peloton representative previously told Insider.

Peloton's stock price has started to climb again after plummeting Thursday following CNBC's report.

Peloton's CEO, John Foley, denied the report at the time and said the company was not halting production but rather "right-sizing" it after a period of explosive growth during the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the weekend, The Wall Street Journal reported that the Peloton investor Blackwells Capital, which has less than a 5% stake in it, was pushing the company to fire Foley and consider selling the business.

Read the original article on Business Insider