Since the star of the bizarre Peloton Christmas ad first came to our attention, portraying the victim of a strange new form of spousal abuse, she has been a good sport about the whole mess.

The actor, whose name is Monica Ruiz, has acknowledged the strangeness of the ad, given interviews trying to take some of the heat off her employers by blaming her eyebrows for the negative perception, and even made a parody commercial with Ryan Reynolds. She has generally made it clear that she is in on the joke and has managed to have some fun with it. The same cannot be said of the man who played her husband, an actor named Sean Hunter (not to be confused with Shawn Hunter).

sean vs. shawn Nice try, Sean, we're not buying it

He has fought hard to make himself the victim in all of this, lamenting the fact that the small supporting role he was excited to land had been cast in such a dark light. Suddenly he was not playing the loving husband, but the secret abuser, and the new addition to his reel was officially ruined! Now his friends were making fun of him, and the career that was otherwise just on the brink of taking off was ruined! As he said in an interview with Psychology Today, "I currently sit here hoping that I'll be able to continue auditioning for commercials without any taint." Poor guy—dealing with anatomical issues on top of everything. How can he salvage the recognition he deserves? How can he stay in the headlines after everyone has stopped caring? He found a way.

Fully embracing the counterargument that, "actually, there's nothing wrong with that commercial," Sean Hunter posted a truly cringeworthy image to his new Instagram account, @pelotonhusband, on Christmas Day. The image, which was accompanied by the text, "Here's hoping this goes over better the second time.... Merry Christmas to my actual girlfriend (pls don't leave me)," features Hunter standing beside a woman who is sitting astride a Peloton bike, with a Christmas bow lazily slapped on its front. Both of them are forcing the kind of half-hearted smile people get when the photographer takes too long to snap a shot.

If, as the post suggests, that is actually his Christmas gift to his girlfriend, there is a debate to be had about whether it's an acceptable gift. If she has expressed a desire for a Peloton bike, it's obviously a fine gift. Even if she hasn't made that interest explicit, but he happens to know that she really likes spin classes or cycling as a form of exercise, an overpriced stationary bike with a screen attached could still be a thoughtful and generous present that she'd be excited to receive. What's not debatable is that the post itself is gross and stupid.

What made people so uncomfortable with the commercial was the wife's surprise, her apparent distress, and the way her daily workout started to seem like a task imposed by someone else. It made it look like the husband in the commercial had an unspoken motive for giving her a Peloton bike—that the gift wasn't really for her at all. For instance, maybe he wanted her to lose weight, or maybe he just wanted her to help him do some cynical self-promotion on Instagram…

peloton wife

While the gift itself could be great under certain circumstances, by conscripting his girlfriend to participate in a weird scheme to keep the spotlight on him, the so-called Peloton Husband has revealed, once again, that he doesn't get what the whole issue is about. At this point it seems like there's only one way he'll get the message, so we are officially reaching out to his girlfriend with a message: Please do leave him!

He's weird and oblivious and he's using you in his clumsy attempt to prop up an acting career that was never going to happen in the first place. You're too good for him! Get out while you still can—before he takes you hostage and forces you to make a weird Peloton vlog.

Also, he apparently doesn't have a taint. Gross.

CULTURE

The "Peloton Husband" Really Wants You to Know He's Not Sexist

Actor Sean Hunter is worried how the infamous ad will impact his career, but I still don't know what he looks like.

By now, we've discussed at length the terrifying, borderline dystopian Peloton Christmas ad that recently went viral.

Here's the ad if you've somehow avoided it thus far. The 30-second clip—in which a man gives his wife a stationary bike for Christmas and she spends the next year vlogging her fitness progress—was quick to spur allegations of sexism and domestic manipulation. The real issue could just be poor copywriting, but either way, the "Peloton Husband" is a little concerned about his future, which is funny, because he only said four words in the commercial and his face is seen for a total of about three seconds.

Since the viral ad aired, Ryan Reynolds cast the actress playing the wife, Monica Ruiz, in an Aviation Gin commercial that nods to her infamous beginnings.

The Gift That Doesn't Give Back youtu.be


It's safe to say the Peloton ad probably won't hurt her career, but the on-screen husband and real-life teacher, Sean Hunter, evidently has some concerns. He spoke with Good Morning America about how he fears the commercial tarnished his likeness, and as a result, his future acting endeavors.

"My image is being associated with sexism, with the patriarchy, with abuse," he said. "That's not who I am." Thank goodness—I was losing sleep over whether or not this bland man in a bad commercial was a misogynist. But that's not all. Last week, Hunter made a statement in Psychology Today to further excuse himself.

"My acting coach messaged me after seeing the video and said that I looked great," Hunter wrote, which is hilarious because I still have no clue what his face looks like. "A few comments from my friends came in and the overall consensus was that it was awesome, one even mentioning, 'I always knew you would make the big time.'" His friends are so sweet!

"As my face continues to be screenshot online, I wonder what repercussions will come back to me," Hunter continued, although I wouldn't be able to pick him out in a lineup. "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."

Maybe the negative opinions haven't be constructively helpful to Hunter because Hunter did not write the commercial. I repeat: He said four words. He's really milking this brief moment of poor commercial writing for all it's worth, when nobody would bat an eye if he'd just let the thing quietly blow over. Considering his Instagram username remains @pelotonhusband, it seems he's already solidified his minor legacy.