It would almost be cute if it weren't so gross.
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).
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…
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.
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