Sean Hunter, an elementary school teacher in Vancouver, Canada who acted in the viral Peloton ad, has responded to being the subject of a backlash over the Peloton ad. “My 5 seconds of air time created an array of malicious feedback that is all associated with my face. My friend texted me today declaring that I’m ‘a symbol of the patriarchy,’” he wrote to Psychology Today. “As my face continues to be screen shot online, I wonder what repercussions will come back to me.” He added: "As I continue to reflect on the commercial, I consider these thoughts: Why are people creating so many additional narratives to the story? Am I allowed to view the commercial positively after receiving such negative feedback? If recognized on the street, what will people’s first opinions be of me? The aftermath of the commercial has left me with more questions than answers, and this is only half the story. I reflect on what my co-actor must be dealing with, as she’s the other 25 seconds of the story."
The controversy over the Peloton ad is incredibly stupid: "Like most of Peloton’s marketing—as previously skewered to hilarious effect—this ad is guilty of being corny and subtly privileged," says Shane Ryan. "Rich people owning rich things in their rich homes is annoying, full stop. If the critique was predominantly classist, I would get it, even though Pelotons aren’t actually as expensive as some think. But that’s not what people were upset about—they were mad that at the implication that the husband was fat-shaming the wife, even though she was clearly not overweight, or that he’s controlling and manipulative because he got her a piece of exercise equipment....Without the ability to learn the backstory of a fake couple in a fake home, it’s baseless to see the gift as anything but something intended to help the wife with fitness and mental health—since that’s what exercise is for! And she liked the gift! She might even have told him she liked the Peloton beforehand!"