Here is how long we see the actor Sean Hunter in the viral Peloton ad that everyone hates: approximately four seconds. I counted. But for some reason that didn’t stop him from speaking out how what it feels like to be labeled “a symbol of the patriarchy.”
The 30 second spot is cringe-worthy for a few reasons: the fact that a man gifted his wife an exercise bike at all, that the bike costs over $2,000, that exercising on it sounds like an episode of Black Mirror. And after complaints that the ad depicts an abusive relationship, Hunter told Psychology Today that the “5 seconds of air time created an array of malicious feedback that is all associated with my face.”
“I currently sit here hoping that I’ll be able to continue auditioning for commercials without any taint,” he writes.
“The problem is that viewers can mistake an actor as that person after they’ve seen them on television instead of a person given a script with no opinion on what they are being told to portray,” he adds. To which I say, I think people know what actors do, don’t you think?
Dude, I assure you, nobody is thinking about you (except for me, writing this post, which I’m only writing because you spoke out!) Nobody even remembers what you look like! Sure, people hate the Peloton husband, but you’re in the ad for a handful of seconds. The star of the ad, besides the wretched torture bike, is its actress, which he acknowledges. “I reflect on what my co-actor must be dealing with,” Hunter writes. Surely more than you are.
I’m afraid Hunter has created a Streisand effect with his comments to Psychology Today. If he was afraid of being the Peloton Husband forever, I’m not sure this helps!