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Peloton Actress Places Blame for Hubbub on Her Face

Monica Ruiz says she may have spurred outrage because character's eyebrows looked 'worried'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2019 9:40 AM CST

(Newser) – She starred in an ad for a stationary bike that ended up going viral—and now Monica Ruiz says she thinks she knows why. Ruiz, a mom of two, is the actress in the infamous Peloton commercial, in which she plays a thin, apparently affluent woman receiving one of the brand's bikes from her husband. The ad received much flak for being sexist and elitist, with one critic noting Ruiz's character seemed to lack "self-confidence and independence" and be dependent on "validation" from her husband. Ruiz appeared on the Today show Thursday morning, and she places blame on her own features for the commercial commotion. "Honestly, I think it was just my face," she said. "My eyebrows looked worried, I guess. People were like, 'You look scared.'"

She bears a similarly concerned countenance, albeit a more weary-looking one, in a follow-up parody ad for Ryan Reynolds' Aviation Gin. She didn't seem scared or worried, however, when Today brought out a surprise for her: Reynolds himself, who came to sit next to her. "I feel like I'm in an alternate universe right now," she told show host Hoda Kotb. Ruiz added she hopes she can get other work after this so she won't be branded as "the Peloton lady" for all time, and that she's doing OK after all of the hubbub. One person who's still trying to wrap his head around everything: Sean Hunter, the actor who played the husband of Ruiz's character in the original ad. "People turned down a pretty dark path, and it turned into a nasty thing," he told Good Morning America, per NBC News. (An analyst "sees dark days ahead" for Peloton.)

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