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And Just Like That, “Sex and the City” Punished Peloton’s Stock

Sex and the City‘s sequel lost a central character via death by Peloton — and art impacted life when the at-home fitness company’s stock immediately dropped 11%.

Warning: Spoilers are ahead.

For Carrie Bradshaw, life in New York centers on three pillars: friends, fashion, and love.

The hit show Sex and the City documented her up and down journey with her one true love, Mr. Big, throughout its six seasons and two feature-length films. And after 10 years, Carrie, Miranda, and Charlotte are back with And Just Like That…, a limited series now playing on HBO Max.

However, as with all stories about getting older, changes are central to the narrative. For Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), the first episode brings a heartbreaking loss when her beloved Mr. Big (Chris Noth) dies on his Peloton bike in pursuit of his 1,000th ride with his favorite fictional instructor, the Barcelona bombshell Allegra (played by senior Peloton instructor Jess King).

His quest for a shoutout ends in tragedy. He suffers a fatal heart attack after a 45-minute ride.

And as quickly as Big dropped, so, too did Peloton’s stock. $PTON posted a prompt 11% loss on Thursday. Shares are down an additional 5% as of this writing.

Peloton’s stock price over the last five days, as of 3 p.m. ET on Dec. 10. The And Just Like That… episode in question premiered on Dec. 9.

This is only the most recent in a series of PR setbacks for the at-home fitness company. Back in December 2019, the company faced intense backlash following a holiday ad campaign that depicts a woman receiving a bike from her husband. More recently, they recalled their signature treadmill after a fatal accident. And just last week, they exchanged lawsuits with Lululemon after the Canadian-based athleticwear company accused Peloton of stealing their designs for their newly launched private line.

Peloton went on the defensive immediately following the release of the And Just Like That... episode. The company indicated that while they had signed off on the bike’s usage for the show and knew that Jess King would appear, they were not informed of the deadly nature of the storyline.

Members of the Peloton community were quick to inspect the root cause of the fictional character’s untimely death. Cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, aPeloton advisory board member, said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times that Big’s death was likely caused by his “extravagant lifestyle,” which was well documented throughout the series.

Never one to miss a sales opportunity, Peloton released a statement, which concluded thus:

“The lesson here is, KNOW YOUR NUMBERS!…The good news is Peloton helps you track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely.”

You can do that with their $49 heart rate monitor, as a matter of fact.

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About The Author
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos
Bernadette Doykos is the Senior Director of Editorial Strategy at Boardroom. Before joining the team, her work appeared in ELLE. She previously served as the head of evaluation for a nonprofit where she became obsessed with systems and strategy and served as the curator of vibes and extinguisher of fires for the design thinking firm Stoked. She is constantly plotting a perfect tunnel ‘fit and a playlist for all occasions.