Ryan Reynolds recruits 'Peloton wife' for hilarious new Aviation Gin ad
On Friday, the Deadpool actor shared his new video on Instagram featuring actress Monica Ruiz, who appeared in the controversial Peloton ad. In the one for gin, Ruiz appears in a daze with friends over cocktails. “This gin is really smooth,” she says, gazing into space.
“We can get you another one, if you’d like,” her friend chimes in. “You’re safe here,” the other friend adds.
“To new beginnings,” Ruiz says, swallowing the drink, then polishing off her friend’s beverage.
“You look great, by the way!” says one friend. The comment is in reference to the fictional hours Ruiz spent pedaling away on her Peloton bike in the brand’s ad.
“Exercise bike not included. #AviationGin,” Reynolds wrote as a caption.
The November 21 advertisement titled “The Gift That Gives Back,” features Ruiz portraying “Grace from Boston” who receives the $2,245 bike as a Christmas gift from her husband. Grace spends one year filming herself riding the bike and compiles the clips into a video “thank you” gift to her partner. The ad ends with the pair watching the montage together on the following Christmas. “I didn’t realize how much this would change me — thank you,” Grace says in the compilation.
The ad received an onslaught of commentary claiming it was sexist because the gift was purchased by Grace’s husband. “Nothing says “maybe you should lose a few pounds” like gifting your already rail thin life partner a Peloton,” wrote a Twitter user. “The [Peloton] ad confirms their target audience is rich, in-shape people,” tweeted someone else.
On Saturday, Ruiz responded publicly to the ad, telling Deadline, “I was happy to accept a job opportunity earlier this year from Peloton and the team was lovely to work with. Although I’m an actress, I am not quite comfortable being in spotlight and I’m terrible on social media. So to say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement.
Ruiz added, “When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humor in the situation. 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.”
And Sean Hunter, who played the gift-giving husband, shared his reaction with Good Morning America. “People turned it down a pretty dark path — it turned into a pretty nasty thing,” he said.
Hunter added, “Once something goes viral, and it turns negative, people jump on that negative bandwagon and start to create any dialogue that they want... My image is being associated with sexism, with the patriarchy, with abuse for example, with these words that I am seeing people write about me — that’s not who I am.”
In a statement to Psychology Today, Hunter pondered if he’ll face even more significant backlash as a result of the ad.
“As my face continues to be screenshot online, I wonder what repercussions will come back to me,” he said. “I pride myself on being a great teacher and developing actor, and I can only hope that this affects neither. I’m grappling with the negative opinions as none of them have been constructively helpful.”
Peloton is standing by their commercial. This week, a spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle, "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. 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."