And just like that… he’s alive!1 Transactions in character from television to brand
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This editorial contains both spoiler and unspoiler alerts.

At the end of 2021, Sex and the City2 became the latest series to be administered a reboot when AndJust Like That… was released worldwide, 9 December 2021.3 John James Preston, otherwise known as Big (Chris Noth), is the husband of the central protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). In the first episode of the reboot, Big has a major cardiac event while getting in the shower after a vigorous exercise session on a Peloton bike and, much to the horror of fans,4

This editorial contains both spoiler and unspoiler alerts.

At the end of 2021, Sex and the City2 became the latest series to be administered a reboot when And Just Like That… was released worldwide, 9 December 2021.3 John James Preston, otherwise known as Big (Chris Noth), is the husband of the central protagonist, Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker). In the first episode of the reboot, Big has a major cardiac event while getting in the shower after a vigorous exercise session on a Peloton bike and, much to the horror of fans,4 dies in Carrie’s arms on the floor of the bathroom. Leaving to one side, for the moment, that Carrie failed to call 911, choosing instead to gaze at Big as he languished on the bathroom floor, it was not just the fans who were horrified at Big’s death. Peloton shares dropped by 11 per cent overnight following the airing of the controversial episode,5 causing the brand to react, first by blaming the character’s extravagant lifestyle,6 and then by resurrecting him. Within two days, Peloton had created its own advertisement,7 starring Chris Noth together with a real-world Peloton instructor, Jess King (who also appears in the episode). And just like that … Big was rebooted.

The advertisement was uploaded to YouTube and tweeted by Peloton with the text ‘And Just Like That… He’s Alive!’8 While a claim for passing off in relation to the use of the series title is possible, it would be difficult to show that fans believed the advertisement to be an endorsement by HBO.9 What is much more interesting about this use is the way in which it supports the recognition of Noth as Big; in other words, the way it contextualizes and facilitates the possible expropriation of the property in character, not only by Peloton but also by Noth. The various interactions and cultural references between And Just Like That… and Peloton became a dizzying metadiscourse and provoke some fascinating questions on performers, characters and brands. And the links do not stop there. The advertisement was made by Ryan Reynolds’s digital marketing company, MNTM. MNTM is the same company that produced a parody advertisement of Peloton’s ill-conceived 2019 campaign, dubbed ‘Peloton Wife’, using the same lead performer (the ‘wife’) from the original Peloton campaign.10 There is something quite enticing about the cultural community of intertextuality, and there is rarely something more effective at addressing an advertising disaster than an ‘inside joke’.11

As a series, Sex and the City’s stories always engaged self-consciously and explicitly in the cultural zeitgeist, from trends to brands and so on. The central character, Carrie Bradshaw, is presented to the audience through her love of fashion and, in particular, Manolo Blahnik shoes (or as Carrie calls them in both Sex and the City and And Just Like That…, her ‘lovers’).12 Carrie’s blue wedding shoes are the narrative thread for Big’s proposal, their marriage, and ultimately Big’s death, where the shoes are destroyed on the bathroom floor, soaked under the shower that is still running while Carrie hugs the dying Big. But the shoes are not merely a plot device, they are a living brand, a character in each scene. As Big himself forewarns in an earlier scene, ‘Those blue shoes are the whole ball game’.13

The Sex and the City series is itself one of the earliest and certainly most resilient examples of a successful pairing between luxury brands and television, a collaboration model that has since become embedded in the development and pre-production of shows and films on major streaming platforms.14 Indeed, in many senses each character is in part understood through their network of brand relationships, not just in fashion, but in a veritable ‘internet’ of objects and trends. Therefore, within the language of the franchise it makes complete narrative sense that a brand with such prominence (particularly during the pandemic and the sudden proliferation of home gyms) would be so conspicuously involved. The director, Michael Patrick King, explained, ‘Well, we knew he was gonna have a heart attack. So the Peloton had nothing to do with the heart attack. The Peloton is a thing [though] that people have now, right? It reflects [modern] society. I wanted something to show that Mr Big was current.’15

To write a whole character out of a series by way of a cultural object described as a ‘cult’16 and a ‘status symbol’17 is thus completely ‘on brand’ for the franchise. The bike, like fashion and like other cultural artefacts, is a mechanism for identity. Adrienne So, of Wired, describes Peloton in terms of personal identity:

[I]t’s gotten to the point now after a year of using it that when the instructors are like, ‘Let’s go Peloton.’ I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s me. I’m Peloton. I should get the sports bra that says Peloton.’ I don’t know what it is about it. I feel like I just joined some Mega evangelist church or something and it feels so good.’18

Indeed, the bike itself is a vehicle, so to speak, for the brand. As one marketing commentator explains, Peloton is not marketed on its functionality alone, ‘It’s a brand’.19 Each session is arguably a performance as a variety act.20 This perspective is perhaps assisted by the fact that the instructors are not just experts, they are ‘talent’, with Peloton ‘hiring workout instructors signed with some of the biggest talent agencies in the world’.21 And as noted, the instructor in the episode in question is played by Jess King, a genuine Peloton ‘talent’ – an instructor, playing a performer, playing an instructor, representing a brand, which itself becomes a character, explicitly addressed within every exercise performance through refrains like, ‘Let’s get it, Peloton!’22 and ‘Let’s go, Peloton!’23 as well as phrases such as ‘Peloton, let’s do this!’ and ‘Great job, Peloton’.24

In all his scenes in the episode, Big appears inside their apartment. He makes dinner with Carrie, during which they discuss his ‘relationship’ with Peloton and with the ‘other woman’, Allegra (Jess King), his Peloton instructor. In a later scene, Big sees Carrie leave for the recital, while he stays home to ride his Peloton bike and spend the evening with Allegra. He is next seen exercising in the lead-up to the scene that has created all the furore. And his relationship with Peloton is referenced each time we see Big and thus forms a major part of what contributes to the fans’ updated understanding of his character since his last appearance.25 In fact, the Peloton bike arguably not only characterizes the 2021 personality of Big, but also authors his ultimate demise.

In episode 2, as Carrie prepares for the funeral, the now unused bike is framed by the door of the dressing room, a large part of Carrie’s character, inciting a link between fashion and identity, and trends and obsolescence.26 Carrie buries her face in Big’s suits, and the dark bike languishes as a witness in the shadows. Still not removed from the scene of the ‘crime’, it lingers as both character27 and guilt. ‘Was it the bike?’ asks Steve, the husband of Carrie’s best friend, Miranda, to which she is methodical in her reasons as to why it was not (perhaps legal had reviewed the script before production?). But like the albatross in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, in this scene the bike looms as a kind of punishment for the death of Big. But punishment of whom? If the bike is the perpetrator it is the brand that is punished. And punishment came swiftly for Peloton, in the form of its stock.

While the show had sought permission to use the bike, there was no formal product placement agreement between Peloton and the production. Dara Treseder, global head of marketing for Peloton, confirmed to the press that ‘HBO’s use of the Bike+ was not a product/brand placement. Peloton did not have a formal product placement agreement with either the show or HBO. This was a casting opportunity for one of our instructors, not a brand integration, paid or otherwise. The show procured our equipment on their own, not through us.’28 But as performers, as Peloton ‘talent’, instructors are arguably, especially ones as popular with users as Jess King, also part of Peloton’s brand. Similarly, as the properties and success of the viral advertisement appear to suggest, Big is part of the Sex and the City franchise identity. If it looks like a brand integration, and sounds like a brand integration, is it in fact an ingenious marketing stunt? The extensive press on both And Just Like That… (which met an otherwise lukewarm response from critics and fans alike) and Peloton (which has been suffering a decline in sales) no doubt exceeds expectations from a simple premiere of a new programme. And as a result, we have been talking about both now for a couple of weeks. As brand hacks go, was this just an extremely successful heist?29 To understand this, it helps to take a closer look at the course of events.

Reportedly Peloton decided immediately upon the airing of the episode to take the extraordinary measure of rebooting Big. Within 48 hours an advertisement was produced by MNTN featuring Chris Noth (Big) and Jess King (the Peloton instructor) and captioned with the following advice to viewers: ‘Unspoiler Alert’. Noth and King toast ‘new beginnings’ and Big’s virtual relationship with Allegra, the ‘other woman’, thus becomes actualized – the ‘Unspoiler’, as it were. At the end of the advertisement, Ryan Reynolds provides a rapid PSA-like narration which, given the now unavailability of the video, is reproduced here: ‘And just like that … the world was reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation, reducing your risk of cardiovascular diseases. Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers resting pulse and reduces blood fat levels. He’s alive.’30 With the inclusion of the title phrase, through to the declaration, ‘He’s alive’, fans are left with no doubt that the advertisement is co-opting the character of Big, not just the performer, Noth. Notably, this is not Reynolds’s first encounter with Peloton marketing. In late 2019, Peloton’s Christmas campaign, known as ‘Peloton Wife’, went viral for all the wrong reasons.31 In the campaign, a husband gives a Peloton bike to his wife for Christmas and she diarizes her workouts for a year. The following Christmas she sits down to watch a video diary with her husband in which she says, ‘A year ago I didn’t realize how much this would change me. Thank you’. In the wake of the backlash, MNTN produced for Aviation Gin a similarly viral advertisement featuring the same ‘wife’, Monica Ruiz, and again toasting ‘new beginnings’. At least for the first few days after the premiere,32 when it came to re-writing Peloton’s narrative, Chris Noth became ‘the whole ballgame’. Indeed, the interaction between Chris Noth and Jess King certainly looks like a very sophisticated brand integration, a kind of studio system reboot.

In this respect, the franchise offers some startling insights into the nature of intellectual property and use. There is no performance without an audience,33 there is no character without a performer, there is no trade mark without a customer.34 In other words, the ‘property’, as it were, is actualized through use.35 In this particular course of events, the impact of competence and fluency in brand language resurrects the question of the performer’s provenance in character. What is especially curious about this particular incident is the nature of character as brand, the interaction between performer, character and brand, and the commercial, legal and social mechanisms underpinning the manipulation of the property in a character.36 The triadic relationship between author, character and performer is an uneasy one, not least for copyright, and not least because copyright, unlike other intellectual property rights, does not immediately encounter the user in making what it makes. Whereas in other areas of intellectual property the user is explicitly an adjudicator of the system (the person skilled in the art in patents, the informed user in design, the average consumer in trade marks), copyright perpetuates an authorial intention.37 But in navigating the shifting riches of the two cultural phenomena of And Just Like That… and Peloton, it is not authorship but brand that is the whole ballgame. The questions of copyright become almost second-hand, as it were.

As the language of brands and branding becomes ubiquitous in social communication and personal identity, this language becomes translated into the way in which copyright works are used, disseminated and reused. Therefore, does it make sense to start importing the language of brands into copyright in order to assimilate the use and reuse of works in a digital and social media environment, reconcile the complication and cooperation with works in the metaverse, and ensure the legacy of a work through use? If Peloton might object to the use of their brand as character, then what of Peloton’s use of a character in the resurrection of their brand? Not to mention the co-option of the title itself, And Just Like That…, both as catchphrase and as frame. All of this arguably makes sense to fans (the ‘implied readers’38 of copyright works, perhaps?) only in terms of ‘character’.

In some respects, the reaction to the absence of the character Samantha (Kim Cattrall), amid the alleged ongoing feud between Parker and Cattrall,39 illustrates very clearly this collaboration in the creation of character and a complication of the separation of performance and authorship in copyright. Both episodes 1 and 2 make repeated references to Samantha and her absence, much to the ire of Cattrall fans. Fans identified the constant referencing of Samantha in the episodes as references to Cattrall herself.40

And Big’s death itself even led to allegations of ‘manslaughter’ against Carrie for failing to phone 911 or perform CPR.41 The response in the press and social media42 prompted the director, Michael Patrick King, to provide a brief tutorial in filmic time, explaining in interview that for Carrie this is a frozen moment, where just a second of time stands still.43 Nevertheless, although somewhat after the event, Carrie did eventually call Miranda (Cynthia Nixon). Nixon is not a doctor, but she played one on TV!44

But assuming that this is not a carefully crafted brand hack, and that in fact Peloton has worked independently of And Just Like That…, then a further question around character, performer and brand is also raised. How might a production manage a performer who transports a character beyond the frame and into a whole other context? Is this a question of branding, over and above possible protection of the character within the audio-visual work? Or is this a question of performer creativity and a provenance in the creation of character? This might have real consequences where a performer’s self-identification as a character outside the production context might clash with the interests of product placement partners because of the personal beliefs or behaviour of the performer. This is not to say that a production could or should have any capacity to manage a performer’s actions outside a production; but it might be a completely different scenario if the performer is ‘performing’ the character in the context of promoting that undesirable personal position. This is not a return to the studio system in that it is not the performer’s brand and its reflection on the production that is at stake; rather, it is the performer’s possible co-option of character as a production’s property. The question that remains, however, is the provenance of that property and the creativity in performance.

There is far less attention paid to performance in intellectual property scholarship than there is to authorship. Notably, there is similarly less critical attention paid to performers and performance in film and television, as distinct from the focus on the film works and film-makers.45 This may suggest the spectre of auteurism, notwithstanding the critical reappraisal of the auteur in contemporary film scholarship, indicating a hierarchy of creativity that infuses not only copyright but also the nature of film and television more widely. Together with an understanding of performance beyond the technology of the performer,46 film in particular motivates a rethinking of the work within its dynamic system of users, as distinct from the adherence to the mythological intentionality of the author.

There is a further development to this short but very complicated series of events. On the 16 December 2021, just a few days after Peloton launched its advertisement, two independent allegations of sexual assault against Chris Noth were made by two women.47 That same day, Peloton removed all trace of the video and accompanying social media campaign,48 and the next day Noth was dropped by his agency.49 While charges are yet to be brought against the actor, there is perhaps no resurrecting his brand in these circumstances.

  • 1

    The text of the tweet by Peloton, 12 December 2021, promoting the new advertisement. Original tweet is available at <https://twitter.com/onepeloton/status/1470132497170239496?s=20>.

  • 2

    Sex and the City (1998–2004), HBO.

  • 3

    Episodes 1 and 2 were shown back to back. ‘Hello It’s Me’, And Just Like That…, season 1, episode 1. Directed by Michael Patrick King. Written by Michael Patrick King, Darren Star and Candace Bushnell. First broadcast 9 December 2021. ‘Little Black Dress’, And Just Like That…, season 1, episode 2. Directed by Michael Patrick King. Written by Michael Patrick King, Darren Star and Candace Bushnell. First broadcast worldwide 9 December 2021.

  • 4

    M Evans, ‘And Just Like That…: Sex and the City Returns with a Major Death and Safe to Say Fans Are Not OK’, Metro, 9 December 2021 <https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/09/and-just-like-that-starts-with-a-major-death-and-fans-are-not-ok-15744586/>.

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  • 5

    O Petter, ‘Peloton Stock Price Drops by 11 Per Cent Overnight After And Just Like That… Premieres’, Independent, 10 December 2021 <https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/peloton-stock-and-just-like-that-b1973535.html>.

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    Of course, correlation is not causation and the drop follows a steady pattern of decline in the value of both stock and the bikes themselves since the peak during 2020 lockdown. See further,

    S Kurutz, ‘“Sex and the City” Reboot Is Not the Only Problem for Peloton’, The New York Times, 15 December 2021 <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/style/used-pelotons-sale-satc.html>.

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    Within days stock had lost more than 16 per cent at the time of going to press: Editorial,

    ‘And Just Like That Peloton Resurrects Show Character’ BBC News, 13 December 2021 <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-59632383>.

  • 6

    M Blake, ‘Peloton Blames Shocking “Sex and the City” Death on Character’s “Extravagant Lifestyle”’, Los Angeles Times, 9 December 2021 <https://www.latimes.com/entertainment-arts/tv/story/2021-12-09/sex-and-the-city-and-just-like-that-hbo-death-peloton>.

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  • 7

    He’s Alive, was posted to YouTube 12 December 2021, with the tagline ‘You can write off a character but not the value of cardio. Let’s get it, Peloton!’ but was removed 16 December 2021. The original link is no longer viable: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX7DuSxnWpg>.

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  • 8

    16 December 2021. Tweet no longer available.

  • 9

    Fenty v Arcadia Group [2015] EWCA Civ 3, [2015] FSR 14; Irvine v Talksport [2001] 1 WLR 2355.

  • 10

    More details on this below. See further,

    ‘“Bike Not Included”: Peloton “Wife” in New Ad Selling Gin for Ryan Reynolds’, Guardian, 7 November 2019 <https://www.theguardian.com/film/2019/dec/07/peloton-wife-aviation-american-gin-ryan-reynolds>.

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    There is further discussion of the ‘Peloton Wife’ campaign below.

  • 11

    I Entchevitch, ‘Did Peloton Pull a Fast One or Have They Learned from a History of PR Blunders?’, Adweek, 15 December 2021 <https://www.adweek.com/brand-marketing/peloton-pr-blunders/>.

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  • 12

    This characterization of Bradshaw then translated into real-world endorsement deals and brand collaborations for Sarah Jessica Parker. For example, see further:

    RL Jacques, ‘Sarah Jessica Parker’s Started Her Own Shoe Line’, Glamour, 7 January 2014 <https://www.glamour.com/story/sarah-jessica-parkers-started>.

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  • 13

    ‘Hello It’s Me’, And Just Like That…, season 1, episode 1. Directed by Michael Patrick King. Written by Michael Patrick King, Darren Star and Candace Bushnell. First broadcast worldwide 9 December 2021.

  • 14

    L Maguire, ‘Why Fashion’s Love Affair with TV is Big Business’, Vogue Business, 15 December 2021 <https://www.voguebusiness.com/fashion/why-fashions-love-affair-with-tv-is-big-business>.

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  • 15

    Michael Patrick King in interview.

  • 16

    O Petter, ‘The Cult of Peloton: How an At-Home Spinning Community became a Pandemic Obsession’, Independent, 27 November 2020 <https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/peloton-lockdown-instructors-change-lives-b1759232.html>.

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    Adrienne So (Gadget Lab, Wired) describes it as an addiction: Adrienne So quoted in

    M Calore et al., ‘All the Ways Tech Saved Us This Year’, Wired, 10 December 2021 <https://www.wired.com/story/gadget-lab-podcast-532/>.

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  • 17

    S Kurutz, ‘“Sex and the City” Reboot Is Not the Only Problem for Peloton’, The New York Times, 15 December 2021 <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/style/used-pelotons-sale-satc.html>.

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  • 18

    Adrienne So quoted in

    M Calore et al., ‘All the Ways Tech Saved Us This Year’, Wired, 10 December 2021 <https://www.wired.com/story/gadget-lab-podcast-532/>.

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  • 19

    Eva Gutierrez describes Peloton’s marketing strategy as more than a question of functionality and market: ‘It’s a brand’ and ‘customers don’t quietly use their equipment. They tell all of their friends and family about it proudly’ (original emphasis). See

    E Gutierrez, ‘The Phenomena of Peloton’s Comeback: How the Brand Bounced Back After Two Huge Brand-Ending Mistakes’, Digital Marketer, 26 June 2021 <https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/the-phenomena-of-pelotons-comeback-how-the-brand-bounced-back-after-two-huge-brand-ending-mistakes/>.

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  • 20

    On variety act as performance, see R Arnold, Performers’ Rights (6th edn, Sweet & Maxwell, 2021), [2-15-2-17]. Arnold notes that sporting performances more conventionally fall outside the categories of performances in the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, s 180(2), but argues that they perhaps should be included, which is particularly interesting in the context of the present discussion: [2-18-2-19].

  • 21

    E Gutierrez, ‘The Phenomena of Peloton’s Comeback: How the Brand Bounced Back After Two Huge Brand-Ending Mistakes’, Digital Marketer, 26 June 2021 <https://www.digitalmarketer.com/blog/the-phenomena-of-pelotons-comeback-how-the-brand-bounced-back-after-two-huge-brand-ending-mistakes/>.

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  • 22

    He’s Alive, posted 12 December 2021 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yX7DuSxnWpg> but now unavailable.

  • 23

    ‘Let’s go, Peloton’ is used as a refrain at the start of each workout, as represented in, for example, the Peloton Tread Commercial 2020, which, as well as ‘Let’s go, Peloton’, includes the phrases, ‘Peloton, come on, let’s get this workout started’ and ‘We did it together, Peloton’. See the video at <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3U-wE8_pXwU>.

  • 24

    For example, see the 2018 Peloton campaign <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmvGmLCdSXA>.

  • 25

    Fans last saw Big in the 2010 film, Sex and the City 2 (dir Michael Patrick King), where he was portrayed as favouring a more sedentary lifestyle of staying in and watching television, a source of conflict with Carrie.

  • 26

    Steven Kurutz describes this scene as more damaging to the brand than that of the actual death of Big: ‘The Peloton bike sits awkwardly in the passageway between the primary bathroom and dressing area, unused and already collecting dust’. See

    S Kurutz, ‘“Sex and the City” Reboot Is Not the Only Problem for Peloton’, The New York Times, 15 December 2021 <https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/15/style/used-pelotons-sale-satc.html>.

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  • 27

    In the US, a piece of machinery, like a bike, can be a character and the Peloton bike would likely fulfil the necessary criteria of having certain physical and conceptual qualities, recognizable and identifiable with each appearance, and distinctive in some way: DC Comics v Mark Towle, 802 F.3d 1012 (9th Cir. 2015) (the Batmobile case).

  • 28

    M Swant, ‘Peloton’s Top Marketer Says it Never Agreed to Controversial “Sex and the City” Cameo’, Forbes, 13 December 2021 <https://www.forbes.com/sites/martyswant/2021/12/13/pelotons-top-marketer-says-it-never-agreed-to-controversial-sex-and-the-city-cameo/?sh=76a8eb773be9>.

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  • 29

    O Truffaut-Wong, ‘Was It All Just a Big Stunt?’, The Cut, 12 December 2021 <https://www.thecut.com/2021/12/chris-noth-stars-in-pelotons-new-ad-post-satc-controversy.html>. An example of such a so-called brand hack in fashion is what ultimately turned out to be a carefully managed collaboration between Gucci and Balenciaga, also known as The Hacker Project. Please see further from Gucci’s website <https://www.gucci.com/uk/en_gb/st/capsule/gucci-and-balenciaga>.

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  • 30

    Emphasis added.

  • 31

    C Michallon, ‘Peloton Christmas Advert of Husband Giving Wife an Exercise Bike Accused of Sexism’, Independent, 3 December 2019 <https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/peloton-ad-video-commercial-exercise-bike-christmas-sexism-twitter-a9231406.html>.

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  • 32

    On 16 December 2021, two women made independent sexual assault allegations against Noth, and Peloton pulled the advertisement, discussed further below.

  • 33

    Even before considering the impact of audience and reception on the nature of the performance, fixation is in itself a form of ‘audience’.

  • 34

    Indeed, in the process of a UK trade mark application, before a trade mark can formally exist (ie become registered) it must be examined (the trade mark examiner being another ‘consumer’ of the mark) and it must be published for potential opposition (by other users or ‘consumers’ of the mark). Making sense of the mark such that it might be brought into formal existence thus always already requires use. In the United States, use of the trademark in interstate commerce is essential to creating the rights in the mark under the Lanham Act, thereby co-opting explicitly the consumer in the creation of the mark.

  • 35

    J Gibson, The Logic of Innovation (Ashgate, 2014), passim, particularly pp. 48–51.

  • 36

    For example, in Anderson v Stallone 11 U.S.P.Q.2d 1161 (C.D. Cal. 1989), the District Court held that the characters in Rocky were entitled to copyright protection on the grounds that they ‘were so highly developed and central to the three movies’ that they ‘constituted the story being told’, following the test in Warner Bros Pictures Inc v Columbia Broadcasting System Inc, 216 F.2d 945, 950 (9th Cir. 1954).

  • 37

    J Gibson, The Logic of Innovation (Ashgate, 2014), passim, particularly pp. 14 and 489.

  • 38

    The term, ‘implied reader’, was coined by the literary theorist, Wolfgang Iser, to indicate a kind of model reader, one who not only ascertains and is framed by the text, but also produces meaning. See W Iser, The Implied Reader (The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1974).

  • 39

    M Feller and S Walsh, ‘A Timeline of Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker’s Rumored Sex and the City Feud’, Elle, 9 December 2021 <https://www.elle.com/culture/movies-tv/g17765125/timeline-sarah-jessica-parker-kim-cattrall-sex-and-the-city-feud/>.

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  • 40

    M Roberto, ‘Kim Cattrall Fans Slam “Sex and the City” Revival “And Just Like That” for “Assassinating her Character”’, Fox News, 15 December 2021 <https://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/kim-cattrall-slam-sex-and-the-city-revival-and-just-like-that-assassinating-her-character>.

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  • 41

    R Handler, ‘Ask a Cardiologist: Should Carrie have Called 911?’ Vulture, 14 December 2021 <https://www.vulture.com/article/and-just-like-that-big-death-carrie-911-call.html>.

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    See also

    N Al-Sibai, ‘Doctor Horrified by that Pivotal Scene in “Sex and the City” Reboot’, Futurism, 14 December 2021 <https://futurism.com/neoscope/doctor-horrified-sex-city-reboot>;

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    and the interview in

    J Biggs, ‘And Just Like That: Could Carrie have Saved Mr Big? Here’s What a Cardiologist Thinks’, Cosmopolitan, 14 December 2021 <https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/entertainment/a38509763/and-just-like-that-could-carrie-have-saved-mr-big-doctor-opinion/>.

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  • 42

    J Singer, Sex and the City Fans Say Carrie Should’ve Immediately Dialed 911 – I Get Why She Didn’t’, Glamour Magazine, 15 December 2021 <https://www.glamourmagazine.co.uk/article/sex-and-the-city-fans-carrie-dialling-911>.

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  • 43

    A McGeorge, ‘The Real Reason Carrie Didn’t Call 911 to Save Mr Big in And Just Like That Has Been Revealed’, Metro, 13 December 2021 <https://metro.co.uk/2021/12/13/and-just-like-that-real-reason-carrie-didnt-call-911-to-save-mr-big-15764985/>.

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  • 44

    This cultural reference is to the 1980s Vicks cough medicine advertising campaign, which featured several famous television soap opera doctors and their endorsement of the product, thus relying upon the plausibility and currency of the performer/character relationship. The campaign led to the now almost standard comedy line, ‘I’m not a doctor, but I played one on TV’. For example, see <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ts0XG6qDIco>.

  • 45

    Drake P , '‘Reconceptualizing Screen Performance’ ' (2006 ) 58 (1/2 ) Journal of Film and Video : 84 -94.

    Drake P , '‘Reframing Television Performance’ ' (2016 ) 68 (3–4 ) Journal of Film and Video : 6 -17.

  • 46

    See further in relation to sound and performance in

    Gibson J , '‘All Words and No Performance: A Revolution in Copyright Through Performance in Sound’ ', in G Ghidini & V Falce (eds), Intellectual Property and Innovation Policy: Proposals for Reforms , (Elgar, forthcoming, 2022 ).

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  • 47

    K Masters, ‘Chris Noth Accused of Sexual Assault by Two Women’, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 December 2021 <https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/chris-noth-accused-of-sexual-assault-1235063596/>.

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    A third allegation was subsequently made shortly thereafter:

    E Harrison, ‘Chris Noth Accused of Sexual Assault by a Third Woman’, Independent, 18 December 2021 <https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/tv/news/chris-noth-accused-sexual-assault-b1978647.html>.

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  • 48

    J Hibberd, ‘Peloton Removes Viral Chris Noth Ad after Sexual Assault Allegations’, The Hollywood Reporter, 16 December 2021 <https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/tv/tv-news/peloton-chris-noth-sexual-assault-allegations-1235063871/>.

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  • 49

    R Gajewski and T Beresford, ‘Chris Noth Dropped by A3 Artists Agency Amid Assault Accusations’, The Hollywood Reporter, 17 December 2021 <https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/general-news/chris-noth-dropped-agency-assault-accusations-1235064904/>.

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