The Peloton universe got even more meta this week as the actor who plays the ‘Peloton husband’ in the infamous commercial got his real girlfriend the exercise bike for Christmas. “Here’s hoping this goes over better the second time,” Sean Hunter said in an Instagram post showing the couple with the bike — a red and white bow attached to the front.
The original ad, which went viral over Thanksgiving weekend, showed Hunter surprising his on-screen wife with a Peloton bike for Christmas. She appears simultaneously overjoyed and terrified. “A Peloton!” she gasps before proceeding to document her ensuing fitness journey with a series of enthusiastic and awkward vlogs. The ad closes with the couple watching the video compilation on TV at the end of the following year. His wife tells him, “I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you.”
(Whether Hunter’s actual girlfriend will also be documenting her workouts on social media remains to be seen, but really, who would be surprised?!)
Many found the cheeriness haunting harboring “cinematic terror” under its peppy, motivational music and feelgood workout ethos. One Twitter user called the gift “rude” in a parody video that ends with her happily handing her partner divorce papers.
For the most part, Hunter, an actor and teacher, has embraced his new identity, even changing his Instagram handle to “pelotonhusband“. But earlier this month, he said on Good Morning America that he didn’t want his image to be associated with sexism, saying, “That’s not who I am.”
Hunter’s gift comes just a few weeks after his on-screen wife starred in a commercial for actor Ryan Reynolds’ liquor brand, Aviation Gin. In the new advertisement, actress Monica Ruiz is chugging gin as her concerned friends assure her that she is “safe now.”