Ethics Quiz: That Peloton Commercial


As regular readers here know, I often criticize TV ads for sending unethical messages or endorsing unethical conduct. I have even been accused of being hypersensitive on the subject. With the controversial Peloton commercial above,  I missed it, if there was  an it to miss.

The surprising thing is that a lot of the objections to the ad are coming from the Right. If I had bothered to think about the Peloton commercial, I would have perhaps detected that it was sexist, with a critical husband demanding that his already apparent fit and lovely wife get in better shape, and she dutifully complying. Indeed the Left was annoyed: Yashir Ali, who writes for HuffPo and New York Magazine (and you know what THAT means) captured the spirit of the objections:

Another tweeter wrote, “So sweet. My husband was inspired by the Peloton ad to get me a pair of pants in a child’s medium and a handwritten note that says “Don’t fucking touch me till you can fit into these.”

The Right, however, was equally disdainful. Allahpundit wrote,

The weird part is the … eagerness with which she shows her gratitude. It’s lovely to be grateful for an expensive gift, but she’s *really* grateful and *really, really* wants her husband to know it. It’s not just that she feels compelled to record herself using the bike repeatedly over a span of many months. She looks curiously anxious doing it, even when smiling into the camera. At the end of the clip, when she finally shows him the footage, her eyes are trained on his reaction, seemingly desperate for his approval. Is, um… How do I put this? Is everything okay between these two?

Another conservative wag, Steven Kruiser, wrote,

Honestly, after weeks of nothing but impeachment news, Peloton may have just saved America’s collective sanity by letting this be the focus of a post-long-weekend Monday. This fictional frightened woman’s yearlong journey to lose the 14 ounces of water weight that her husband the good Doctor Mengele insists she must is the Christmas miracle that a news-weary world needs.

He headlined his comments on the ad, “Her Eyes Are Blinking “H-E-L-P” in Morse Code.”

Your admittedly not exactly earth-shattering Ethics Alarms Ethics Quiz of the Day is...

Does the Christmas Peloton commercial endorse unethical conduct or societally toxic attitudes?

I’ll add a poll, because I’m curious. Two, in fact:


37 thoughts on “Ethics Quiz: That Peloton Commercial

  1. This ad came up in an overnight sports program I like to listen to — the host (a woman) liked the ad and was befuddled by the uproar. Her take on Twitter:

    Exercise is NOT just about losing weight. It’s about being healthy, improving mood, managing stress, clearing your mind, regulating sleep. It’s HARD to stick to an exercise routine. The Peloton ad inspired me. I’d appreciate a husband who wanted to help me achieve my goals.

    • ”the host (a woman) liked the ad and was befuddled by the uproar.”

      She’s willfully committed secular blasphemy and best batten down the hatches ahead of the sure-to-follow Kangaroo Trial-by-Twitter!

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