Exercise equipment company Peleton could potentially sue HBO over an And Just Like That scene where one of the show’s beloved characters died on one of their bikes.
Fans and viewers alike were shocked when lead character Carrie Bradshaw’s husband John James Preston, better known as Mr. Big – collapsed and died of a heart attack moments after hopping off the machine at the end of the first episode.
The limited series, which is a continuation of Sex and the City, was released the day before Peleton saw its shared suffer by 11 per cent, and now one lawyer thinks the exercise start-up could have grounds for a lawsuit.
Intellectual property and entertainment lawyer Nancy C. Prager claimed that Peleton could potentially sue the show’s network based on a product placement agreement.
Prager says she is unsure if the series had an agreement with Peleton but said that the production company must have a ‘special’ license to use the product or its logos.
She also said that under the principle nominative fair, production companies are allowed to use the product or its brand if it is being used for its intended purpose.
‘Nominative fair use does not to apply, though, when you use the protected mark in a way that disparages the mark or the brand,’ Prager told the New York Times.
Peleton had been portrayed in such a way that was said to have ‘tarnished’ the brand and what they stand for as seen by the decline in the company’s shares.
The company could also take legal action against HBO if they were not made aware of how their product would be used in the show.
An intellectual property and entertainment lawyer recently revealed that exercise equipment company Peleton could potentially sue HBO for it’s portrayal of their product in a scene from And Just Like That
The limited series And Just Like That, a continuation of HBO’s Sex and the City, saw one of the show’s beloved characters die from a heart attack while exercising on a Peleton bike
Stacy Jones, the chief executive and founder of agency Hollywood Branded, said that it would be a ‘misstep’ if Peleton was not made aware of its portrayal.
‘It was a misstep that Peloton wasn’t fully aware of the script,’ Jones told the Times.
‘The production forgot that product placement is supposed to be mutually beneficial, and they did not put their thinking cap on about the damage that this would cause the brand,’ she added.
David Schweidel, a professor of marketing at Emory University Goizueta Business School, also said that product placement in movies and television shows are believed to be another form of advertising.
‘Think of product placement as an alternative form of advertising,’ Schweidel said.
‘If I can’t reach my customer base with a traditional television commercial anymore, I take the product in the program itself. Then, they can’t avoid it.’
With product placement presented in this light, companies often take advantage of media representation to boost sales for their brand which has since taken a nosedive.
The company has also been wary of its portrayal in the media after a six-year-old boy died in an accident involving one of their treadmills in March and another incident involving a three-year-old child who suffered head injuries after being trapped under the same type of machine, but has since made a full recovery.
Sarah Jessica Parker, played by Carrie Bradshaw, attends the funeral for her husband and long-time love John James Preston, or Mr. Big
The death scene had featured Mr. Big (played by Chris Noth) on the Peleton talking to his favorite instructor Allegra during his exercise
After getting off the bike, Mr. Big was seen grimacing in pain as he began to have a heart attack
Towards the end of the first episode, Big collapses in the bathroom area and dies
Peloton don’t appear to have any plans foe legal action.
They have insteadissued a statement through Cardiologist Dr Suzanne Steinbaum, insisting that Mr Big riding a Peloton bike would have helped delay his fatal heart attack.
Dr Steinbaum, who works for Peloton on its Health & Wellness Advisory Council said Mr Big’s history of cardiac arrest would have put him at higher risk of a heart attack.
She also is a Sex and the City fan herself and was saddened to learn of Mr. Big’s passing, and elaborated on what likely caused his heart attack in a statement released by Peloton.
‘I’m sure SATC fans, like me, are saddened by the news that Mr. Big dies of a heart attack,’ Steinbaum began in her statement to US Weekly.
‘Mr. Big lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle — including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks — and was at serious risk as he had a previous cardiac event in Season 6,’ she continued.
‘These lifestyle choices and perhaps even his family history, which often is a significant factor, were the likely cause of his death. Riding his Peloton bike may have even helped delay his cardiac event,’ she added.
Steinbaum also revealed that, ‘more than 80 percent of all cardiac-related deaths are preventable’ by changing one’s lifestyle, diet and exercise.
‘While 25 percent of heart attacks each year are in patients who already had one (like Mr. Big), even then they are very, very treatable,’ she continued.
‘It’s always important to talk to your doctor, get tested, and have a healthy prevention strategy. The good news is Peloton helps you track heart rate while you ride, so you can do it safely,’ she said.
People report that Peloton were aware of the appearance of the brand in the show and that real instructor Jess King would be playing a fictional trainer named Allegra.
As of Sunday, Peleton has continued to see a decline in their shares. The company’s stock has currently fallen to $38.51, representing a 2.19 percent drop
Peloton spokesperson Denise Kelly confirmed that the company approved King’s portrayal of a fictional instructor in the episode, reports NBC News.
However, ‘due to confidentiality reasons, HBO did not disclose the broader context surrounding the scene to Peloton in advance,’ Kelly said.
Many fans have been also asking why the show used an actual exercise equipment company like Peloton, which is based in New York City, as opposed to a generic spin bike brand.
King was quick point out that the death of Mr. Big was not caused by Peloton, and by using a known company humanizes the character and the overall realism of the show.
‘Well, we knew he was gonna have a heart attack. So the Peloton had nothing to do with the heart attack,’ he said emphatically, before continuing, ‘The Peloton is a thing [though] that people have now, right? It reflects [modern] society. I wanted something to show that Mr. Big was current. Everybody kept coming and saying, “Oh, [the characters] are old. They’re old.” These characters are alive and vibrant.’
Considering the revival series was using the COVID-9 pandemic as part of the backdrop of life for the characters, King thought about what Mr. Big would be doing with his time while in quarantine.
‘He’d be listening to his record collection and exercising at home,’ King explained, ‘So we built this enormously decadent, titan-of-the-world spa bathroom and put the signature item that you would have in that at home, which is a Peloton. I ride it all the time, not in a bathroom like that.’
Despite Steinbaum’s words, a stark drop appeared on the stock market when shares fell by 11% on Friday morning – just hours after the episodes aired.
Mr. Big’s death was met with mixed reactions on social media, with some, like @cathrynsetz,’ hinting they may have, ‘just tanked Peloton, in the very first episode!’
Others were more distraught, with @helcnsharpe adding, ‘I will never recover I’m being so serious.’
Another fan, @zourkandy, stated that the writers ‘disrespected’ fans by having Carrie ‘chasing that love, and once she has that, she loses it again?!’
Last month, Peloton shares plunged 24% after the company reported a net loss of $376 million in its third quarter, as the company struggled to recover from a voluntary treadmill recall sparked by an infant’s death and 29 other injuries.
For the three-month period ended Sept. 30, Peloton reported a net loss of $376 million, or $1.25 per share, compared with net income of $69.3 million, or earnings of 20 cents a share, a year earlier. Analysts expected Peloton would see a loss of $1.07 per share, CNBC reported.
In August, Peloton lowered the price of its original Bike to $1,495 – a nearly 20 per cent price cut from the $2,245 it costed this time last year.
This came after Peloton temporarily stopped making their treadmills due to the death of a child and the injuries of 29 others.
In a video released by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a young boy is seen walking behind the Peloton Tread+ with a large pink ball while a young girl is on it, which gets pulled under the treadmill.
Peloton was also hit with controversy in December 2019 after its holiday advertisement sparked fierce social media backlash. The company lost $942million as a result.
The exercise equipment company was vilified over the commercial titled ‘The Gift That Gives Back’, which shows a woman receiving a stationary bike from her husband on Christmas morning. She then documents her year-long fitness journey in a series of selfie clips that she compiles into a thank you video for her husband.
Viewers trashed the ad on Twitter, calling it sexist, misogynistic, humiliating and cringeworthy.
Peloton Interactive Inc’s stock fell 9.12 percent, and analysts attributed the drop to negative publicity over the ad.
The decline erased nearly $942million from the company’s market value, bringing its market cap to about $9.4billion, according to Markets Insider.
Coud YOUR Peloton kill you? After bike was at the centre of a shocking death in And Just Like That, Femail reveals how the pricey home gym equipment has been linked to several real-life tragedies (and how to use it safely)
The safety of Pelotons, the immersive home workout experience with virtual classes that claims to rival a full gym membership, has been thrust back in the media spotlight following a shocking storyline in the Sex And The City reboot.
In the first episode of ‘And Just Like That’, Carrie’s husband Mr Big (Chris Noth) dies of a heart attack shortly after a 45-minute session on a Peloton Bike, the piece of high-end home gym equipment – prices starting at £1,350/$1,495 – that’s become a must-have in affluent homes.
The brand has also been hit with real-life tragedies, mainly concerning its $2,400 treadmill, the Tread+, which was only released in the US and has since been recalled.
A six-year-old in the US died in an accident in March, although details have never been released. Another incident saw a three-year-old child, who went on to make a full recovery, suffer head injuries after becoming trapped underneath the machine.
Other children have reported ‘burns’ or abrasions, with the family of one three-year-old boy pulled under a Tread+ treadmill saying he will be scarred for life.
In the UK, Peloton customers have reported minor injuries resulting from the use of the £2,295 Tread treadmill, resulting from the screen falling off.
The safety fears have cast a cloud over the success of the brand, which soared during lockdown when people couldn’t access gyms.
Peloton’s popularity, which soared during lockdown when people couldn’t access gyms, has taken a blow in recent months over safety fears, mainly concerning its $2,400 treadmill, the Tread+, pictured, which was only released in the US and has been recalled
Jocelyn Ratliffe, 6, suffered from severe abrasions to her legs after being sucked under a Peloton Tread+, her father revealed in April, sharing this photo on Good Morning America
It was dealt another blow following the release of the And Just Like That premiere – with shares tanking 11.35 per cent since the show aired at 12.01am PT in the US.
US product safety regulator, the CSPC, first raised concerns about the safety of the Tread+, which is not available in the UK, on April 17, and called on Peloton to recall it.
The death of the six-year-old child had been made public by the company the previous month.
Regulators said they needed to ‘warn the public quickly of the hazard’ after nearly 40 incidents have come to light of children becoming ‘entrapped, pinned, and pulled under the rear roller’ of the Peloton Tread+.
At the time, Peloton CEO John Foley resisted this request.
However on May 5 Peloton announced a US recall on the Tread+ because of these issues, and acknowledged that it had made a mistake in its initial response.
It simultaneously recalled the Tread, which is available in both the US and UK, due to the Tread’s faulty display, which had fallen off and caused injury.
Some 12 minor injuries such as abrasions, cuts or bruises linked to use of the Tread had been reported in the UK at the time of the recall.
The safety of the brand’s popular exercise bikes have also been put under scrutiny.
In 2020, 27,000 Peloton Bikes in the US had to be recalled because of a pedal safety issue.
The Peloton Tread remains on sale in the US and the UK. The Tread+ is currently not available in the US. It was never revealed in the UK.
Customers can still shop the Peloton Bike and the Peloton Bike+ in the US and the UK.
Peloton has explained how children and pets should be kept away from Peloton and other home exercise equipment at all times.
The equipment is not designed for use by children.
THREE-YEAR-OLD BOY LEFT WITH THIRD-DEGREE BURNS
The three-year-old boy suffered third degree burns to his back and sides after he became trapped under a Peloton Tread+ in Brooklyn, New York last year
A three-year-old boy suffered horrific third-degree burns after getting trapped underneath a ‘defective and dangerous’ Peloton treadmill, a lawsuit filed in July claimed.
Sarah and Ygal Saadoun, of Brooklyn, New York, filed a lawsuit against Peloton in New York State Supreme Court regarding the severe injuries their son suffered.
They claim their son was sucked under the Peloton Tread+ in July last year 2020. The boy became trapped under the treadmill’s ‘rotating belt’ and it continued to run while he was underneath it, the lawsuit says.
He suffered third degree burns to his back and sides as a result of the incident.
The little boy has been left with permanent scarring and disfigurement, as well as ‘shock, emotional distress, pain and suffering’, according to the lawsuit.
The Saadouns argue that Peloton knew, or should have known, that the treadmill was ‘extremely and unreasonably dangerous’.
Safety regulators had issued a warning about the model back in April, urging people with children and pets to immediately stop using the Tread+ after one child died and dozens were injured.
They released released footage that showed how one boy became trapped head-first under the running treadmill before eventually wriggling free.
The fitness company then recalled about 125,000 of the Peloton Tread+ models and agreed to stop selling them the following month.
The Saadoun family are seeking unspecified damages from Peloton as a result of the boy’s injuries.
DEATH OF A SIX-YEAR-OLD CHILD
Peloton co-founded and CEO John Foley shared news of the fatality in a letter addressed to owners of Tread+ in March. He urged customers to exercise caution when using the equipment
In March 2021, Peloton CEO John Foley revealed in a letter to customers that a six-year-old child had died in an accident involving Peloton’s Tread+ treadmill.
No details of the child, their family, or how the accident occurred have been made public.
However, it did prompt Mr Foley to urge parents to keep children away from Peleton exercise equipment.
‘While we are aware of only a small handful of incidents involving the Tread+ where children have been hurt, each one is devastating to all of us at Peloton, and our hearts go out to the families involved,’ Foley wrote.
Foley, who is also a co-founder of Peloton, went on to share the company’s standard safety warnings, among them keeping children and pets away from exercise equipment at all times, and removing the safety key from the treadmill at the end of a workout.
‘We design and build all of our products with safety in mind,’ Foley stated.
‘But in order to help ensure that you and your family members stay safe with Peloton products in your home, we need your help.
‘This is especially true during what I hope is the final stretch of the pandemic where everyone is still at home.’
CHILD DRAGGED UNDER A PELOTON WHILE PLAYING
In April US federal regulators released a terrifying video of a child being dragged under a Tread+ treadmill as they warned consumers to stop using the equipment. The child, seen bottom right, was pulled under the treadmill while it was in use
In April US federal regulators released a terrifying video of a child being dragged under a Tread+ treadmill as they warned consumers to stop using the equipment.
In the harrowing video, a little girl is seen walking on the treadmill which is turned on.
A little boy then walks behind the exercise machine and picks up a big pink ball.
He holds the ball toward the back of the treadmill and the ball is seen being pulled under the machine, dragging the boy’s arms with it.
This appears to cause the treadmill to stop moving as the boy’s arms lift the machine slightly off the ground.
The little girl gets off the treadmill and dashes off out of view, while the boy appears to be stuck.
The treadmill moves again, slowly at first as it appears the boy is trying to resist it moving and pulling him further under the equipment.
At this point, the power of the machine appears to cause the little boy to shake and suddenly the treadmill resumes a faster speed, dragging the boy further underneath to his head.
He continues to be pulled under more and more until only his legs are sticking out as he appears to thrash his legs in an attempt to free himself.
The boy manages to pull himself back out from underneath the treadmill which continues to move and he is seen walking out of view away from the machine.
Peloton has explained how children and pets should be kept away from Peloton and other home exercise equipment at all times. The equipment is not designed for use by children.