Actress in ridiculed Peloton ad starts over — with Ryan Reynolds's gin

A new ad for Ryan Reynolds's Aviation gin offers the actress in the heavily criticized Peloton ad a chance to start over with "new beginnings."

Monica Ruiz says Reynolds 'helped me find some humour in the situation' after bike ad mocked online

In a new ad for Canadian actor Ryan Reynolds's gin brand, the same woman who starred in Peloton's controversial stationary bike ad is pictured drinking martinis with friends. (Peloton/YouTube)

A new advertisement for Ryan Reynolds's gin brand offers the actress in the heavily criticized Peloton ad a chance for "new beginnings."

The Vancouver-born Deadpool actor tweeted the new ad, which features the same woman who played the wide-eyed recipient of a Peloton stationary bike from her husband, alongside a cheeky caption.

"Exercise bike not included," Reynolds, who holds a stake in Aviation gin, wrote Friday.

The parody ad shows the actress, Monica Ruiz, at a bar with two friends struggling to find the right words to raise her spirits. She sports the same stunned expression that social media users mocked in the Peloton ad, as she downs a martini glass in one gulp.

"To new beginnings," she toasts.

Not even up for 24 hours, the tongue-in-cheek Aviation gin ad has received more than five million views online.

Peloton faced backlash for being sexist and tone-deaf after releasing its bike ad in late November. In it, "Grace from Boston," a mother and wife, receives the web-connected spin class bike as a Christmas gift from her husband. She then proceeds to document her exercise journey as a vlog, telling him how much it's changed her.

L.A.-based Ruiz told CBC News in a statement Saturday the Peloton team was "lovely to work with," but that she isn't comfortable with being in the spotlight or on social media.

"To say I was shocked and overwhelmed by the attention this week (especially the negative) is an understatement," she said.

Some viewers commented that Ruiz already looked fit in the Peloton ad before getting the $2,000-plus gift, and was being body-shamed. Others criticized the over-the-top emotions she displayed on receiving the gift and said she looked as though she had "hostage eyes." 

But some people also argued the complaints were overblown, however they were widespread enough that the actor who plays the husband, Vancouver teacher Sean Hunter, spoke to Psychology Today about the effects of his involvement in what he thought was a harmless storyline.

"As my face continues to be screen shot online, I wonder what repercussions will come back to me," he said in an article on the American magazine's website.

The original ad, which Peloton says was intended to be inspirational and was misinterpreted, remains on the company's YouTube and Twitter accounts.

The ad for Peloton's web-connected spin class bike, which costs more than $2000, has become the subject of numerous parodies online after its latest campaign featured a woman receiving the product from her husband for Christmas. (Mark Lennihan/The Associated Press)

Ruiz said she's "grateful" to both Peloton and Aviation Gin for the work opportunities.

"When Ryan and his production team called about Aviation Gin, they helped me find some humour in the situation," said Ruiz.

Reynolds isn't the only one riffing off the viral Peloton ad. Comedian Eva Victor was among those who posted a video mocking the bike ad when it was released. In Victor's more overt roast, the story ends in the wife handing her husband divorce papers.

And just in case there's any confusion over whether the gin ad was indeed intended to mock the Peloton ad, it's re-affirmed in the final line of the 40-second clip.

"You look great, by the way," the actress's friend tells her as the commercial holds on a shot of the brand's label.


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