Peloton actress blames her face for viral ad controversy

Brenda Watkins
December 13, 2019

The Deadpool star stopped by TODAY on Thursday morning to say hello to Monica Ruiz, the actor who is better known as the terrified-looking wife in the viral Peloton ad. News earlier this month.

At the conclusion of the interview, Ruiz summed up the whole thing, as she sat next to the Reynolds on the Today show, by saying, "I feel like I'm in an alternate universe right now".

"When [the backlash] didn't blow over and when people started kind of answering for me", said Ruiz, 32, "I was like, okay, I'll let everyone know: I'm fine". "I'm OK. I'm not in rehab for mental health anywhere'".

But even after that ad aired, people couldn't quit talking about Ruiz.

"It was my face, that was the problem", she said. "I hope people can remember that I'm not actually the Peloton lady and let me work other jobs". "My eyebrows looked anxious, I guess". Peloton and its model of on-demand video cycling classes has come under fire after the release of a new commercial that has been criticized by some as sexist and classist.

When asked about the ad by NBC News on Monday, Peloton CEO John Foley said: "That was last week."

Ruiz went on to say she didn't want to come off as "mean" when she made the subsequent ad toasting "new beginnings" for Reynold's gin company because she said she had "an wonderful experience" working with the Peloton team and didn't want to bash the brand. However, the company's stock price has tumbled amid the viral backlash.

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Ruiz initially stayed silent following the backlash of the ad, but eventually revealed her identity on Saturday when she distributed a statement through her agency, LA Talent, responding to the attention surrounding the ad. Ruiz also appeared in a commercial for the actor Ryan Reynolds' gin label, Aviation Gin, that poked fun at Peloton's holiday ad.

For her part, Ruiz shoulders the fallout with a smile and the same expressive eyes that caused millions to worry about the fictional Grace from Boston's well-being in the first place. The ad showed Ruiz sitting between two friends who comfort her and tell her everything will be OK, while she quickly chugs a martini glass full of gin. "I don't know. I would say that's just the way things are".

Reynolds joined Ruiz at the tail end of the interview to explain where the ad came from.

"We love acknowledging and playing with the cultural landscape", Reynolds said. However, he thought it would be a good way to touch on the controversy without picking a side.

'We had this thought that we could do this ad without contributing to that divide, without vilifying anybody, just sort of commenting on this person, and the actress and the ad all at once. "I think it was my fault", she told Kotb.

While Ruiz thanked Reynolds for the opportunity, she insisted she's ready to move on. "This is so weird".

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