Entertainment

The Today Show Gave The World What They Want And Organized A Meeting Between Ryan Reynolds And The “Peloton Wife”

In what seems to be the natural conclusion to the bizarre saga of the Peloton commercial, Monica Ruiz, the actress behind the infamous Peloton ad, met Ryan Reynolds on live TV–a move that was organized by the Today show. The actors discussed the divisive nature of the original ad, how the follow-up commercial was conceived, and how quickly everything came together. “It was a rush,” Reynolds admitted. “We did this thing in 36 hours”.

Reynolds, who is both the owner of Aviation Gin as well as the brainchild behind Peloton-spoofing follow-up commercial, told “Today” host Hoda Kotbe that the idea of poking fun at the controversial ad came from a good place. “You see everything is sort of divisive these days,” Ryan explained. “We had this thought that we could do this ad without contributing to that divide, without really vilifying anybody—just sort of commenting on both the person and the actress in the ad all at once.” 

Interestingly enough, although Ruiz was hired by Reynolds’ team to take part in their advertisement, she had not yet met Reynolds in person. 

Shortly after Ruiz gave an interview on the scandal, Reynolds joined the actress on the Today show stage. Reynolds explained the Aviation Gin commercial’s inception, saying that his idea of involving Ruiz with his company was very different at first. “[My creative partner] sent me the ad and I said ‘Oh wow, I see why there’s some backlash’,” he recounted to Kotbe. “Can we just send [Ruiz] a year’s supply of gin? She doesn’t have to film herself’. And then that sort of evolved from there”.

“We love acknowledging and playing with the cultural landscape,” he explained further. “And we thought this would be a great opportunity [to do that].” 

Before Reynolds arrived, Kotbe asked Ruiz why she thought the ad struck such a nerve with viewers. 

“Honestly, I think it was just my face,” said Ruiz. “My eyebrows looked worried I guess. People were like, ‘You look scared.’”. Kotbe also asked Ruiz why she was initially hesitant to do press after the controversy surrounding the ad. Ruiz admitted that she didn’t want to seem like she was capitalizing on a negative situation. But after the media circus didn’t die down, she decided to address the situation herself. “I just wanted to let everyone know I’m fine,” she told Kotbe. “I’m OK, I’m not in a rehab for mental health anywhere.”

Ruiz also revealed that she was initially hesitant to accept Reynolds’ offer of starring in the Peloton-spoofing gin commercial because she didn’t want the fitness brand to think she was making fun of them. “I had such an amazing experience when I shot the Peloton commercial that I was like, I don’t want them to think I was…saying anything mean”. She went on to say that Reynolds’ team assured her that her involvement in the new ad would just be “taking air out of the situation”.

As for Ruiz, she still seemed to be coming to grips with her new-found fame.

“Can you believe you’re sitting next to Ryan Reynolds?” Kotbe asked Ruiz. “I feel like I’m in an alternate universe right now,” Ruiz responded. “This is so weird”.

When asked by Kotbe what she sees her career going now, Ruiz responded truthfully that she hopes the ad won’t negatively impact her career. “I hope people can see me as an actress. I hope people can remember that I’m not actuality the Peloton lady, and let me work other jobs,” she said with a laugh. 

As with everything involving this hot-button topic, Twitter had a few things to say about Monica Ruiz’s “Today” interview. 

It’s truly fascinating how such a seemingly harmless ad has become so incredibly divisive.

This writer wasn’t on board with Ruiz blaming herself for the Peloton backlash:

It’s definitely true that it wasn’t simply Ruiz’s expression that rubbed viewers the wrong way. The premise of the ad was what was the most controversial.

This person also felt the need set Ruiz straight on who was to blame for the ad’s failure.

There were probably hundreds of people involved in the commercial’s problematic execution. 

This person believes that Ruiz’s true calling is on the set of a Hallmark Christmas movie.

We actually agree with this. If there’s one thing that this interview proves, it’s that Ruiz exudes an inherent likability.

This person predicted the next chapter for the continuing Peloton saga:

At this point, we wouldn’t be surprised if a streaming network decided to capitalize on this story.

Latina Actress At the Center of the Viral Peloton Ad Says She is Finding “Humor” In The Situation

Entertainment

Latina Actress At the Center of the Viral Peloton Ad Says She is Finding “Humor” In The Situation

Peloton / Youtube

It’s not every day that you see an ad for an exercise bike taking the world by storm, but this viral commercial for Peloton did just that.

Three weeks ago Peloton, the company that is well known for being an fitness empire and a media juggernaut that was being touted as the “Apple of Fitness”, posted a Holiday ad for the cult-favorite bike to Youtube. The ad seemed innocuous enough: the 30-second spot followed the fitness journey of a young wife and mother who is gifted a Peloton bike for Christmas by her husband.

As the woman’s fitness journey continues, we see her documenting her daily workouts for her husband to watch. She congratulates herself for working out “five days in a row”, asking her husband if he’s “surprised”. We see her getting up at 6am to hop on the bike, lamenting her early wake-up call. At the end of the spot, we see the young mom watching the footage with her husband in the present. “A year ago, I didn’t know how much this would change me”, she says to the camera. In the present, we see the wife looking looking nervous and fidgety as she watches her husband watch the footage. Some viewers interpreted her behavior as if she were working out for her husband’s for approval.

A few weeks after the commercial was posted to Youtube, the ad went viral–and not for the brand’s intended purpose. 

Critics immediately called out the ad for what they perceived as its sexist messaging. Not only that, some viewers interpreted Ruiz’s face throughout the advertisement as “terrified”. As one Twitter user put it, the ad tells the tone-deaf story of a “thin, gorgeous woman transforming into a still-thin, still-gorgeous woman who’s terrified her husband won’t think she’s grateful”.

Credit: @amyhoy/Twitter

After the ad seemed to take over the internet over the weekend, the identity of the “Peloton Wife” actress was finally revealed to be Monica Ruiz, a California-based actress of Latina descent. Ruiz, for her part, seems to be rather rattled by all of the negative attention aimed at the ad. 

In a statement to People magazine, she called the Peloton team “lovely to work with” and said she was “grateful” for the job opportunity. As for the the backlash, she seems to be surprised by it. “Although I’m an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight,” she said to People. “So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement”.

In a hilarious turn of events, Ryan Reynolds recruited Ruiz to star in a commercial for his company, Aviation Gin. The catch? She’s playing the same character as in the Peloton commercial.

In a spot titled “The Gift that Doesn’t Give Back”, Ruiz is seen at a bar surrounded by two girlfriends. They look at her warily as she stares off into the distance, nursing a martini. They tell her she’s “safe here” and that she “looks great”. Ruiz, ostensibly traumatized by her husband’s controlling behavior, can only say that the gin is “really smooth” before chugging her cocktail as well as her friend’s. 

Naturally, the Aviation Gin ad went over like gangbusters on social media, with viewers calling it “genius” and “brilliant”. As for Ruiz, she seems to be much more at peace with the entire Peloton debacle. “When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation,” she told People. “I am grateful to both Peloton and now Aviation Gin for the work and giving me the opportunity to do what I love to do”.

Of course, since the ad originally went viral on Twitter, there are no shortage of Tweets riffing on the bizarre saga of the Peloton commercial.

Honestly, you could spend hours scrolling through hilarious memes and #hottakes centered around this one 30-second commercial. Something tells us Peloton didn’t intend this sort of reaction when they were brainstorming this ad.

This person summed up the weird vibe of the commercial perfectly:

There’s something off-putting about how she seems to be embarking on this year-long fitness journey to please her husband. 

This Twitter user had to explain why people were so irritated at the tone-deaf commercial:

It’s definitely the subtext of the ad that rubs people the wrong way. 

This Latina didn’t really understand the outrage

It’s definitely true that a lot of people workout to feel strong and healthy–their appearance has nothing to do with it.

This person was highly complimentary of Ruiz’s acting skills

We definitely agree. If commercials had their own Oscars, we think there’d be no contest.