This post contains major spoilers for And Just Like That… episode 1.
And Just Like That…, the new handle for Sex and the City, debuted on Thursday, and a major death immediately drummed up noise on Twitter.
In episode 1, Big (Chris Noth) pushes through a Peloton workout, led by real-life instructor Jess King. He then gets off the bike and dies of a heart attack in the shower.
This plot point was apparently enough for Peloton to issue a statement, in an effort to deflect negative press. Peloton advisory council member and cardiologist Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum told the L.A. Times:
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. 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.
That is a lot of words (and blame!) for a fictitious character, and there’s also the surreality of a fitness company spoiling a new show’s big twist. But then, Peloton has not been having a great year. It was even suggested that Big’s death was tied to Peloton stock dropping on Thursday.
King, who plays an instructor named Allegra in the episode, acknowledged her cameo on Instagram Stories, but not the death. Peloton said in a statement that it knew King would appear in the show, but not how the bike would be used. (Not that it should have.)
Not everyone took the incident so seriously. “Kim cattrall should do a peloton ad,” tweeted Natalie Walker, referencing AJLT‘s much-missed Samantha Jones (who could have helped with PR here). And there were memes, of course.
This week’s top culture stories
Sign up to receive our newsletter and get the best of the internet in your inbox.