Peloton is at the center of a television drama once again, and the exercise equipment company is not happy about it.
During a scene in Billions‘ season six premiere, David Costabile’s Mike “Wags” Wagner suffered a non-fatal heart attack after using a Peloton exercise bike. The scene was strikingly similar to the one recently seen in the And Just Like That premiere, where Mr. Big (Chris Noth) died shortly after riding a Peloton.
“We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment,” the company said in a statement posted to social media. “As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.”
We get TV shows want to include @onepeloton to get people talking, but to be clear, we did *not* agree for our brand or IP to be used on @SHO_Billions or provide any equipment. As the show itself points out, cardio-vascular exercise helps people lead long, happy lives.
— Peloton (@onepeloton) January 23, 2022
Following the And Just Like That scene, Peloton released a tongue-in-cheek commercial featuring Noth and his cycling instructor Allegra (played by real-life Peloton trainer Jess King). However, the ad was pulled just days later after several women came forward with sexual assault allegations against Noth.
Speaking to USA Today about the similarity between the scenes, Billions co-creator Brian Koppelman said the situation was merely a coincidence. “That was all in the show, written a year ago and shot in April,” he explained. “But after And Just Like That… aired, our phones blew up from everyone on the show texting each other.”
It was then that Koppelman decided to make a change to the script, adding a scene where Wags returns to the office following his health scare and jokes, “I’m not going out like Mr. Big.”
“It would be completely out of our character not to take a swing,” executive producer Beth Schacter added. “It’s too good. We’re going to make the joke.”
Billions, Season 6, Sundays 9/8c, Showtime