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A Peloton prophet? Actress from infamous ad reflects on 2020

@emily_murnane | Screenshot Twitter

It’s hard to believe that this point a year ago, one of the biggest things getting talked about around the watercooler was an ad (now pulled) from Peloton.

Oh, how times have changed.

That viral ad, showed a wife documenting her “fitness and wellness journey” and sharing it with her husband who gave the stationary bike to her for Christmas. The ad was quickly scorned by critics across the internet who called it sexist and offputting. The backlash even sent the health company’s stock tumbling by nearly 10%. However, after a year of gym closures and stay at home orders, Peloton had the last laugh.

In September, CNBC reported that the fitness company saw a 172% increase in sales over the course of the pandemic. 



What happened to the ‘Peloton wife?’

Actress Monica Ruiz who starred in the ad as the ‘Peloton wife’ joined the TODAY show a year ago at the height of the backlash to talk about how quickly she became the focus of the internet.

“I just wanted to let everyone know I’m fine.” she said back then. “I’m OK, I’m not in a rehab for mental health anywhere.”

She returned to the program a year later, reflecting on everything that 2020 has brought with it, along with a resurgence of Peloton memes casting her as a prophet who knew what the world was on the verge of experiencing.

“It’s funny, all those memes that are going around now that are like, ‘What did she know? She knew something we didn’t know.’ It was kind of like perfect timing that so much attention was brought to their company, and then everyone had to be at home.”

Initially, Ruiz said she did not receive a Peloton bike after her filming, but in January 2020, after much of the backlash, the company sent her one. She said it’s made a world of difference over the course of the year. Ruiz even considered turning the tables and giving her real-life husband a Peloton for Christmas.

“I seriously was like, I should record a video of me giving it to (him) for Christmas. Reverse the script,” she joked with TODAY.

As the year came to a close and throughout the pandemic, she said that all of the memes actually gave her hope for the future. 

“Now that I see … people going, ‘Oh my god, that was only a year ago. That felt like it was like five years ago,’ that makes me kind of happy because then I’m like, OK, people are not going to see me and instantly think that,” she explained.

RELATED: “Peloton Husband” gives real-life girlfriend an exercise bike for Christmas