Some people are so upset about the awful Peloton commercial that they seem to think the actors were not in a role but were a real family. This reminds me of my Russian grandmother who told me that certain actors in soap operas were bad people because they played villainous roles on TV.
The man who played the husband in the Peloton commercial is an actor and elementary school teacher in Vancouver, Canada. He wrote about what people who saw the commercial were saying about him and how he felt about it for Psychology Today:
Unfortunately, the problem is that viewers can mistake an actor as that person after they've seen them on television instead of a person given a script with no opinion on what they are being told to portray. As I continue to reflect on the commercial, I consider these thoughts: Why are people creating so many additional narratives to the story? Am I allowed to view the commercial positively after receiving such negative feedback? If recognized on the street, what will people's first opinions be of me? The aftermath of the commercial has left me with more questions than answers, and this is only half the story. I reflect on what my co-actor must be dealing with, as she's the other 25 seconds of the story.
Actor Anna Gunn, who played Skyler White in Breaking Bad, wrote an opinion piece for The New York Times about people who hated the character so much that they wanted to kill Gunn:
At some point on the message boards, the character of Skyler seemed to drop out of the conversation, and people transferred their negative feelings directly to me. The already harsh online comments became outright personal attacks. One such post read: "Could somebody tell me where I can find Anna Gunn so I can kill her?" Besides being frightened (and taking steps to ensure my safety), I was also astonished: how had disliking a character spiraled into homicidal rage at the actress playing her?