A major character’s Peloton death in the And Just Like That… series premiere tanked shares for the exercise bike company. Peloton saw an 11 percent decline in its stock price after the episode aired, with many users fearing that the bikes may cause coronary problems.
Responding Friday morning, the company said the character’s heart attack was not because of the bike. The company also said that its executives were not aware their bikes would be featured in such a way.
WARNING: Major Spoilers Ahead for And Just Like That… Read at Your Own Risk.
In the first episode of the revival series for Sex and the City, Carrie Bradshaw’s husband, Mr. Big, controversially suffers a fatal heart attack and dies after exercising in a virtual Peloton class. Portrayed by actor Chris North, Mr. Big felt like an essential part of the storyline. Carrie waited many seasons to finally get back together with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. So it felt extremely callous to have him die so suddenly.
The Peloton death came as a major shock to fans, with one commenter writing on Twitter: “Can Carrie never be happy or??”
“We literally went through 6 seasons and 2 films of pain, drama & happy endings now this?!” they wrote. “I’mma pretend this show never existed for my own happiness.”
According to Peloton, however, Mr. Big’s death also came as a shock to the company. The executives had no idea that the SATC character death would occur on one of their exercise bikes.
“I’m sure ‘SATC’ fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack,” Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a cardiologist on Peloton’s Health & Wellness Advisory Council, told US Weekly.
“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 Peloton–and apparent Sex and the City–expert said. “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.”
Trying to dispel the myth that riding a Peloton bike could kill you, Dr. Steinbaum also listed the benefits of exercising. The company is reportedly in a mad scramble after the big hit to their shares, especially following an August subpoena that cited dozens of treadmill injuries.
“While 25 percent of heart attacks each year are in patients who already had one (like Mr. Big), even then they are very, very treatable,” Dr. Steinbaum told US Weekly. “It’s always important to talk to your doctor, get tested, and have a healthy prevention strategy.”
Plugging the product, she mentioned that “the good news is Peloton helps you track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely.”
The exercise bike company made over $600 million in the last quarter of 2020, FEC filings revealed, becoming a household name during the pandemic when people were forced to work out away from crowded gyms. Throughout 2021, however, Peloton has been hit by several lawsuits and U.S. Department of Justice subpoenas due to defective products leading to injuries and even the Peloton death of a child who was caught under a treadmill.
In the lawsuit against Peloton, the company is accused of selling and marketing the treadmills as “safe and appropriate for use by families in the home, even though its design makes it inherently and uniquely dangerous to children.”
The company has since recalled its line of treadmills but states that the bikes are perfectly fine to use.