Things That Matter

Peloton’s Stocks Drop 10 Percent After Holiday Ad Sparks Backlash Over Sexism

Peloton’s latest advertisement for it’s $2,245 stationary bikes is sparking both outrage and satirical videos that mock the unlikely journey of a wife being happily surprised to receive exercise equipment from her husband for Christmas. “Ok, you ready,” the husband asks his wife, with one hand holding the hand of a young toddler and the other covering her eyes. “A Peloton!” she happily exclaims when she sees the exercise equipment. What ensues is a 25-second supercut of her ‘journey’ of waking up at 6 a.m. to leave her sleeping husband in bed while she rides her bike and ends with her telling the camera, “A year ago, I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you.” Later, we find out that the supercut video is one of her own making, meant to be a thank you gift to her husband for buying the elite stationary bike. When the video cuts, she turns to her husband on the couch, seeking his approval, as he rubs her back and laughs. 

The Internet is breaking down every problematic aspect of the advertisement, down to the worried look on the 116-pound protagonist’s face as she says, “I’m a little nervous,” to the point that Peloton’s stock has actually fallen by 10 percent. The video has been viewed on YouTube 1.1 million times, liked just 978 times and disliked 7,200 times.

Problem #1: Misogyny. All the misogyny.

CREDIT: @PELOTON / TWITTER

Peloton marketed their campaign as “The Gift That Keeps On Giving.” The montage of this thin woman telling her husband, “Alright, first ride. I’m a little nervous, but excited. Let’s do this,” has elicited a wide range of reactions. Some people are concerned about her performance of gratitude for a husband who, let us repeat, bought her a piece of exercise equipment for Christmas. Given that the woman’s gift to her husband the next year is a montage of her fitness journey, some are concerned that “the gift that keeps on giving,” is marketed toward husbands who want their wives to get fit for them. Last year, Peloton created a similar advert that depicts a husband buying his rail-thin wife a Peloton and called it “Get What You Give – Hers.” 

Problem #2: Would there really be no emotional complexity to being surprised to receive exercise equipment from your life partner?

CREDIT: @EVAANDHERIUD / TWITTER

“Nothing says ‘maybe you should lose a few pounds’ like gifting your already rail-thin life partner a Peloton,” tweeted Siraj Hashmi (@SirajHashmi). “My husband got me a Peloton bike for Christmas! Nothing weird about that. You get me.” Twitter personality Eva Victor jokingly says in her own satirical remake of the advert. Victor hushes, “It’s 6 in the morning and my husband is still sleeping,” only to scream with rage about what kind of person buys their wife a stationary bike for Christmas. Eventually, she delivers the same line as the Peloton wife about how much the last year has changed her. “I didn’t realize how much this would change me. I want a divorce,” she smiles at the camera and offers her husband divorce papers. This is the far more likely response to that kind of gift.

Problem #3: Countless professionals signed off on this advertisement.

CREDIT: @THEDWECK / TWITTER

Twitter user Tobias Hirano (@tobihirano) works in advertising, which is what “makes the Peloton ad even funnier when you realize how much goes into this stupid shit. Like rounds of approvals on concept, script, storyboard, edit, color, graphics. Late nights, millions of dollars, entire jobs created for this ad!” he tweeted.

Problem #4: The demographics of Peloton’s upper management.

CREDIT: @MIKESINGTON / TWITTER

“The Peloton ad sucks, all Peloton ads suck…,” tweeted Mike Sington (@MikeSington), “but here’s my question: is there a single person of color than owns a Peloton bike? The whole company smacks of white privilege (skinny white privilege). I’ve got an idea- let’s take a peek at Peloton’s senior management team.” It’s no wonder why the company’s stock has fallen by nearly 10% percent today alone. “We all need to treasure the things that bring us together as a nation, as a people. Collectively hating on this Peloton ad is that thing,” tweeted  Renee Klahr (@reneeklahr).

Meanwhile, Twitter user Vanessa Contreras (@VanessaL_Castro) is asking the question on all our minds: “Am I the only Latina that looks at the word #peloton and just thinks of the word pelota? ???????????? every. time.” Nope. No, you are not the only Latina, Vanessa. ????????‍♀️

Watch the full ad below!

READ: A Restaurant In Peru Has Been Fined $62,000 For What Many Say Is Blatant Sexism

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A Latina Firefighter in Boston Says the Department Retaliated Against Her When She Reported That She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Colleague

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A Latina Firefighter in Boston Says the Department Retaliated Against Her When She Reported That She Was Sexually Assaulted by a Colleague

Credit: Screenshot via CBS/WBZ

A former female firefighter was just given a settlement of $3.2 million by the city of Boston for what she characterized as a culture of sexual harassment, shaming, and silencing. Nathalie Fontanez says she was retaliated against by the Boston Fire Department for reporting a sexual assault she experienced at the hands of a colleague.

In 2018, Fontanez says she was sexually assaulted by fellow firefighter David Sanchez.

It all began when Fontanez joined the Boston Fire Department in 2011. The department was looking to hire fluent Spanish speakers, and Fontanez considered the opportunity a “golden ticket”. It was an opportunity for her, a single mom, to provide for her daughter without the assistance of welfare. And, she could prove to her daughter that women can do anything.

But Fontanez’s dream soon turned into a nightmare. After joining the department, she faced an inordinate amount of hazing and harassment because she was a woman and a Latina.

“I’m not a veteran. I’m not a man. I’m a Latin woman. If there was a totem pole, I was at the very bottom,” she explained. “I felt that I had to tolerate anything that came my way, because I was lucky to be there,” she said.

Per Fontanez, the incidents escalated until the day in question when she was assaulted at the firehouse by Sanchez.

After reporting the incident to her superiors, she says that her colleagues turned on her.

In a recent press conference, Fontanez explained the experience in more detail. “Incidents began to escalate and I was then shamed and labeled a trouble-maker,” she said. “The guys that I once relied on for my life’s safety now turned against me.”

While Sanchez was convicted of assault and battery and sentenced to two years of probation, Fontanez says that she was harassed and isolated by her station mates. According to her, the retaliation also included being denied a promotion and being ignored at social events.

“I was often reminded by some of my colleagues that I had taken a job from a man who could have been providing for his family, even though I was a single parent providing for mine,” she said.

Last month, the city settled with Fontanez for $3.2 million. But Fontanez says it’s not about the money–it’s about changing the toxic culture of firehouses. 

“I’m breaking my silence because I believe that women firefighters deserve equal treatment in the Boston Fire Department,” Fontanez said during the news conference. “However, at this point that is the dream, but not the reality, for many women firefighters. The department is overdue for change, and the time for change is now.”

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Snoop Dogg Said “WAP” Is Too Sexual And Offset Isn’t Having Any Of It, Says “We Should Uplift Our Women”

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Snoop Dogg Said “WAP” Is Too Sexual And Offset Isn’t Having Any Of It, Says “We Should Uplift Our Women”

Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

Ever since Cardi B’s and Megan Thee Stallion’s anthem “WAP” hit the airwaves (or streaming services), it’s been the target of a very vocal anti-WAP brigade.

From a very long list of Republican lawmakers and evangelical leaders to Fox News hosts, many conservatives have made it very clear they’re shocked and angered by two women singing about their “wet ass pussies.”

However, few of us could have expected who else would add their name to the list of anti-WAPers, especially given his own history of sexually explicit lyrics. Thankfully, several major voices have come out in defense of the hit song and pointed out the very real and very wrong double standard that exists for female rappers.

Snoop Dogg seems to criticize “WAP” for being too sexual but quickly faces a backlash for his comments.

Snoop appeared on the talk show Central Ave to talk about what can easily be called this year’s anthem “WAP,” and well he didn’t have much praise for it. He basically said it was too sexual, “Let’s have some, you know, privacy, some intimacy where he wants to find out as opposed to you telling him.”

He added, “That’s your jewel of the Nile. That’s what you should hold onto. That should be a possession that no one gets to know about until they know about it… I just don’t want it that fashionable to where young girls feel like they can express themselves like that without even knowing that that is a jewel that they hold onto until the right person comes around.”

All of which is very rich coming from the rapper who once rapped “Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks, Lick on these nuts and suck the dick.” One of just many many lines from a very successful career built around what many may call sexist, sexual, and misogynistic lyrics.

Cardi B’s husband quickly came out to defend the empowering anthem when asked for his comment.

When asked by TMZ for his reaction to Snoop’s comments, Offset said, “I love Snoop man, but she grown. I don’t get in female business,” he told the interviewer. “I hate when men do that. I don’t do that.”

And being aware of the gross double standard that exists for female rappers, Offset also opened up the discussion to the larger issue at hand. He suggested that male rappers can talk about many things without getting called out in the same way female rappers do. He told TMZ, “It’s a lot of women empowerment, don’t shoot it down. We’ve never had this many artists that’s female artists running this shit. They catching up to us, passing us, setting records.”

Rightfully so though, Offset also wanted it known that he wasn’t hating on Snoop. “I don’t want to seem like I’m dissing at Snoop,” he said. “At the same time, I say all men should stay outta women business.”

As for Snoop, well he’s responded with his own comments to the apparent backlash.

Seeming to acknowledge the growing controversy surrounding his original comments, Snoop posted to Instagram to clarify what he meant.

He wrote, “Stop wit the bullshit press. I love Cardi B and Meg music, period, point blank and they know that I’m in full support of the female MC movement so stop trying to make me a hater. That song 6x platinum. Talk about that.”

In the original Central Ave interview, he also attempted to clarify his response to “WAP.” He said that his objection may be connected to his age, saying “Now when I was young – 21, 22 – I may have been with the movement. I probably would’ve been on a remix.”

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