This article contains spoilers for the premiere of Billions’ sixth season.
A Peloton exercise bike has taken down another leading man on television. In the second Peloton-related heart attack in recent months, David Costabile’s character Mike “Wags” Wagner from Showtime series Billions went into cardiac arrest after a go on the machine in the sixth season premiere.
Though Wags later recovers from the incident, the name-dropping still does not sit well with Peloton.
“We get why these fictional TV shows would want to include a brand that people love to talk about, but Showtime’s use of Peloton’s Bike+ and reference to a Peloton Instructor was not a brand, product, or instructor placement, and we did not agree for our brand and IP to be used on this show or provide any equipment,” a statement issued by the company reads. “As referenced by the show itself, there are strong benefits of cardio-vascular exercise to help people lead long, happy lives.”
This scene comes just a couple months after Peloton experienced a bit of a crisis following the premiere of the Sex And The City spin-off, And Just Like That... Carrie Bradshaw’s longtime husband Big (played by Chris Noth) unexpectedly and now infamously died of a heart attack after wrapping up his 1000th cycling session with one of Peloton’s instructors.
This deadly association quickly led to a drop in Peloton stock. In order to combat the ill-fated imagery, the company released a viral ad featuring Noth cozied-up with the previously mentioned Peloton instructor a few days later. However, the ad was then pulled after four women came forward accusing Noth of sexual assault.
Production for Billions wrapped in spring 2021, well before the premiere of And Just Like That. However, the producers still went back and included the line, “I’m not going out like Mr. Big,” in reference to the recent passing. They say it was a mere coincidence, and they added the line because, “it was what Wags would say.”