- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Stationary bike maker Peloton responded Wednesday to a wave of backlash sparked from its holiday ad depicting a husband buying his wife the exercise equipment for Christmas.

The ad featuring a woman who embarks on a one-year fitness journey after her husband gifts her with the $2,245 stationary bicycle has been bashed as tone-deaf and sexist. A still shot of the woman’s face, apparently excited and nervous about starting the exercise regimen, has become a viral meme depicting the woman as a prisoner at the mercy of her fat-shaming husband.

Vice’s Katie Way wrote, “She would rather be anywhere else in the world than here, in her glacial home with the husband she loathes, putting on this sick pantomime of wellness and marital bliss; she’d even rather be back on the dreaded Peloton.”

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Vox’s Alex Abad-Santos wrote that the ad resembled a “dystopian nightmare” while Fox News’ Cathy Areu called it “sexist, selfish, and downright scary.”

Peloton said in a statement that it was “disappointed” to see so many people misinterpreting the ad.

“We constantly hear from our members how their lives have been meaningfully and positively impacted after purchasing or being gifted a Peloton Bike or Tread, often in ways that surprise them,” a company spokesperson told CNBC. “Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey. While we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by — and grateful for — the outpouring of support we’ve received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate.”

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