Peloton’s latest headache comes from ‘Sex and the City’ reboot plot line

December 10, 2021, 9:37 PM UTC
Dimitrios Kambouris—Getty Images

As if Peloton Interactive didn’t have enough problems to contend with, the fitness equipment company’s shares are now feeling additional pressure following the release of the new Sex and the City reboot, and a plot line involving the death of a major character while using one of its stationary bikes.

Peloton shares were down almost 6% on Friday morning, continuing a sharp 11% selloff in the previous trading session, hurt in part by fears that the And Just Like That limited-series debut would just add to the slew of bad publicity Peloton has been trying to contain. To avoid spoiling the surprise for viewers, Fortune won’t share which character died, other than saying this person has long been a big part of the show.

Variety reported that Peloton had okayed the show’s use of the bike as well as a real-life Peloton instructor appearing as a fictional instructor, but did not know that the major character would collapse and die after a workout on the bike. Tempting as it may be to peg the Peloton stock decline to And Just Like That, the company has been dealing with enough major problems that have created the sense of a juggernaut running out of steam.

Last month, Peloton slashed its own annual sales forecast by $1 billion and said fewer people than expected were coming to its stores or buying its discounted bikes, fueling the growing sense that the pandemic’s easing was taking a lot of air out of the tires of this once red-hot growth story. What’s more, Lululemon Athletica on late Thursday slashed its annual sales forecast for its Mirror product, a Peloton rival, by half to about $127.5 million, with CEO Calvin McDonald pointing to “a challenging year for digital fitness.” In October, NordicTrack maker iFit withdrew its IPO plan, citing “adverse market conditions” despite the hottest IPO market in a generation.

Carrie and company aside, Peloton’s stock has faced a number of downgrades, including one on Friday by Credit Suisse analyst Kaumil Gajrawala, who cited “a shift in consumer spending and the return of in-person fitness.”

Peloton responded to the And Just Like That contretemps with humor. In a statement to Us Weekly on Thursday, Dr. Suzanne Steinbaum, a member of Peloton’s health & wellness advisory council, faulted the defunct character’s questionable choices.

“[Redacted] lived what many would call an extravagant lifestyle—including cocktails, cigars, and big steaks—and was at serious risk,” Steinbaum said, and even posited that the use of Peloton might have delayed the deadly health incident.

But Peloton can’t pin its myriad other problems on a fictional character’s poor health choices.

This story has been updated to reflect that Lululemon Athletica slashed its annual sales forecast for Mirror to about $127.5 million

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