AUSTIN (KXAN) — If you haven’t finished the first episode of HBO Max’s “Sex and the City” revival “And Just Like That,” read no further. If you have, you already know what the spoiler is.
While the premiere episode catches audiences up with now middle-aged characters Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) and Charlotte (Kristin Davis), it also threw a big wrench in main character Carrie’s comfortable life.
Or rather, a Peloton did.
In the final minutes of the episode “Hello It’s Me,” audiences watch as Mr. Big/John James Preston (Chris Noth) huffs and puffs atop a Peloton exercise bike before collapsing and dying just minutes later. Within the “SATC” canon, the fictional New York financier has dealt with heart problems in the past, but his heart attack in Thursday’s episode proved fatal.
But Big’s death wasn’t only bad news for Carrie — and millions of shocked fans — but also for Peloton.
A spokesperson for Peloton, Inc. told Buzzfeed News it approved the appearance of real-life workout instructor Jess King and were aware a bike was being featured in the episode but didn’t know how either would factor in.
“HBO procured the Peloton Bike on their own,” Peloton spokesperson Denise Kelly told Buzzfeed News. “Peloton was aware that a Bike would be used in the episode and that Jess King would be portraying a fictional Peloton instructor.”
Kelly further said Peloton wasn’t told “the larger context surrounding the scene,” due to confidentiality reasons. Buzzfeed reached out to HBO for comment on this claim.
By the end of Friday’s trading day, Peloton saw a 5.4% drop in stock price, and ended at $38.51 per share — rebounding from a 52-week low earlier in the day, according to CNBC.
The bike’s unflattering cameo also came just a day before the company received a ratings downgrade by a Credit Suisse analyst, who slashed its price target from $112 to $50 — more than half.
In discussion with The New York Times, intellectual property/entertainment attorney Nancy C. Prager explained that permission is typically needed to feature a logo or product on screen. She adds, however, that due to a trademark law known as “nominative fair use,” productions are also able to feature trademarks or products if they’re used in the way they’re intended to be as indicated by the company.
But she says the “And Just Like That” appearance might fall outside of these bounds.
“Nominative fair use does not apply, though, when you use the protected mark in a way that disparages the mark or the brand,” Prager told NY Times. She elaborated that the appearance “tarnished Peloton’s good will to consumers.”
Prager pointed to the stock dip as evidence.
It’s not yet been indicated if Peloton is considering any sort of legal action against HBO.
Peloton’s “Big” troubles come off the heels of a bad PR year for the company. Back in May, it recalled both of its treadmill machines after a 6 year-old died after being pulled under one of the products. Over 70 other injuries were also reported, the company said.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission previously warned Peloton of the machines’ dangers and CEO John Foley later apologized for not pulled the equipment immediately.
“I want to be clear, Peloton made a mistake in our initial response to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s request that we recall the Tread+. We should have engaged more productively with them from the outset. For that, I apologize.”
Meanwhile, Carrie Bradshaw pulled together a stylish funeral for her husband in the series’ second episode and it appears the season will chronicle the re-construction of Carrie’s life after a major crumble. While Mr. Big’s Peloton journey is done, for fans and for Carrie, the ride goes on.
(Information from KXAN.com)