The husband from the infamous Peloton holiday commercial bought his real-life girlfriend an exercise bike from Peloton for Christmas, just weeks after he was seen shopping for the equipment earlier this month.
Canadian actor Sean Hunter took to his Instagram last night to share a photo of his girlfriend – Cassidy Baras – posed on top of her new Peloton bike.
It came after the Peloton holiday commercial, in which Hunter’s character gives his wife a stationary bike as a Christmas gift, went viral and sparked heated outrage, with critics calling it sexist and misogynistic.
‘Here’s hoping this goes over better the second time,’ the actor said in the post from Vancouver. ‘Merry Christmas to my actual girlfriend (pls don’t leave me).’
Paras is all smiles as she sits on the bike.
Hunter was pictured shopping for a Peloton bike earlier this month after sharing in interviews that he could not afford the luxury equipment bikes, which start as low as $2,245.
The actor, who works as an elementary school teacher, says he feels left in the dust by the exercise equipment company revealing they never reached out to him following the public backlash.
‘Have they reached out to me? No, not at all. I mean, I wish they would,’ Hunter said after he was spotted at a Peloton store in Los Angeles earlier in the month.
Hunter revealed he received a lot of social media hate since the release of the commercial, some haters going as far to attack him in his direct message inbox.
‘A few bad ones, I few negative ones,’ Hunter revealed. ‘Some I delete right away. Some are personal attacks, some make fun of my image, some say you’re a bad person for doing it.’
Peloton’s stock dropped 15 percent over controversy surrounding the ad.
The company lost more than $1.5 billion in market value.
The ad, titled “The Gift that Gives Back,” features a woman showing a video diary to her male partner detailing the year she spent using the Peloton that he gave her.
The ad has gone viral since its Nov. 4 release, getting more than 4 million views on YouTube.
However, the response from consumers had been overwhelmingly negative, with many critics calling the ad sexist and dystopian.
Hunter, a former guest star on Lucifer, described the shock of being thrust in the center of a social media firestorm.
He said he is worried that the viral backlash will damage his fledgling acting career as well as his status as a elementary school teacher.
‘I currently sit here hoping that I’ll be able to continue auditioning for commercials without any taint, and that if my students happen to find the commercial and recognize me, they won’t think about me any different than they already know me,’ Hunter told Psychology Today.
The woman’s already-svelte figure before she receives the bike is virtually unchanged a year after.
Viewers trashed the ad on Twitter, calling it sexist, misogynistic, humiliating and cringeworthy.
In his comments to Psychology Today, Hunter said that overall reaction from his friends to the ad was overwhelmingly positive when the ad was first unveiled.
‘Reviews from my friends stopped as the video went viral,’ he said. ‘I soon noticed that the commercial had several thousand down votes as the tweets came out and talk shows weighed in.’
Hunter cited a number of viral tweets, including one which said that there’s ‘absolutely a ‘100% chance that the husband in the Peloton ad is abusive.’
Other tweets denouncing the ad as sexist also began to make an impact on Hunter.
‘I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,’ he says.
Hunter’s IMDB page indicates that his most notable acting role was on Lucifer.
Lucifans may remember him from the episode “Monster,” the sixth episode of the second season of Lucifer.
He played angry husband Jason Myers (a reference from the writers to the evil characters in Friday the 13th & Halloween).
Hunter says being associated with the commercial has him ‘wondering what repercussions will come back to me.’
‘I pride myself on being a great teacher and developing actor, and I can only hope that this affects neither,’ he says.
‘I’m grappling with the negative opinions as none of them have been constructively helpful.’
Hunter says he hopes that people won’t judge him as a person based on the commercial.
‘After all, this commercial has nothing to do with my ability to teach or who I am,’ he says.
Despite the backlash, the company has not yet removed the ad from the internet.
In defense of the ad, a spokesperson for Peloton said in a statement: “Our holiday spot was created to celebrate that fitness and wellness journey.”
“While we’re disappointed in how some have misinterpreted this commercial, we are encouraged by — and grateful for — the outpouring of support we’ve received from those who understand what we were trying to communicate.”