Peloton pulled down a popular online ad featuring the actor Chris Noth on Thursday after The Hollywood Reporter published an article in which two women accused him of sexual assault.
The article detailed the accusations of two women, identified with pseudonyms, who claimed Noth — who played Mr. Big on “Sex and the City” and stars in its new reboot — sexually assaulted them in separate incidents in 2004 and 2015. In a statement, Noth called their accusations “categorically false.”
After the allegations surfaced, Peloton, the stationary-bike maker, removed a widely viewed online ad featuring Noth. It had quickly put up the ad after the first episode of the “Sex and the City” reboot — the HBO Max limited series, “And Just Like That” — depicted Mr. Big dying of a heart attack after riding a Peloton bike.
“Every single sexual assault accusation must be taken seriously,” Peloton said in a statement. “We were unaware of these allegations when we featured Chris Noth in our response to HBO’s reboot.”
One woman told The Hollywood Reporter that Noth, 67, raped her in 2004, when she was 22, after inviting her to his apartment building’s pool in West Hollywood; the woman said that after the assault, a friend took her to the hospital, where she received stitches. Another woman said he assaulted her in 2015, when she was 25, after a date in New York City.
“The encounters were consensual,” he said in the statement. “It’s difficult not to question the timing of these stories coming out. I don’t know for certain why they are surfacing now, but I do know this: I did not assault these women.”
Noth, who also had roles in “Law & Order” and “The Good Wife,” is best known for his role as Mr. Big, the central love interest and eventual husband of Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker) in “Sex and the City.” His death in the reboot shocked fans and set social media ablaze. Peloton’s stock dropped the day after the episode became available.
Three days after the episode debuted, Peloton tried to make the most of the ill-fated product placement by releasing the parody ad, which features Noth lounging with his Peloton instructor, extolling the health benefits of the exercise machine while he flirted with her. In the clip, Mr. Noth suggestively raises an eyebrow, seemingly glancing back toward the bedroom, and asks, “Shall we take another ride? Life’s too short not to.”
Then, after the sexual assault allegations surfaced, Peloton’s post on Twitter that included the video disappeared. In a statement, the company said it had archived social media posts related to the video and stopped promoting it while it sought to “learn more” about the allegations.
HBO declined to comment.