Peloton fires again at portrayal in ‘Intercourse and the Metropolis’ with parody advert

Brody Longo trains on his Peloton exercise bike in Brick, New Jersey on April 16, 2021.

Michael Loccisano | Getty Images

Peloton wants users to know that their home fitness equipment can improve physical health – rather than create health complications, which was implied when we restarted Sex and the City on HBO max.

The company posted a response to a plot in “Sex and the City,” on its Twitter account on Sunday sent shares in the company into a tailspin last week, piled on a recent sell-off. The stock is down about 75% since the start of the year, hitting a 52-week low of $ 37.67 on Friday.

(The next part of this story contains a spoiler for the first episode of “And just like that …”.)

In the widespread “Sex and the City” scene, one of the main characters in “And Just Like That …”, Mr. Big, died of a heart attack after attending a 45-minute peloton class.

In Peloton’s spoof commercial, Jess King – the Peloton instructor portrayed on the HBO show – sits down with Mr. Big, played by Sex and the City actor Chris Noth, after getting up from a fall and asks him if he would like to take another class on the bike.

“I feel great,” said Noth in Peloton’s video. “Shall we take another ride? Life is too short to not do it.”

Then, in a voice-over from actor and director Ryan Reynolds, it was said, “This is how the world has been reminded that regular cycling stimulates and improves your heart, lungs and circulation. … Cycling strengthens your heart muscles, lowers your resting heart rate and reduces the blood flow and fat values. Experienced.”

The whole thing came together in less than 48 hours and was filmed in New York City, according to a peloton spokesman.

Reynolds also shared the video online on Sunday in a tweet with the words: “Unspoiler alert.”

Peloton Chief Executive Officer John Foley also tweeted on Sunday, “He’s alive.”

The “Sex and the City” scene comes after Peloton cut out in the past few weeks his annual forecast and frozen attitude, amid declining demand for its products. Peloton faces increased competition from other home fitness companies as well as gym chains that are attracting back previous users.

Peloton was a big beneficiary of the pandemic as people got stuck at home looking for ways to maintain healthy habits. The stock also benefited, rising more than 440% in 2020.

However, investors now fear that future growth will be much harder to come by and that it will cost more.

Peloton has faced other issues over the past few months, including regulatory scrutiny. The enterprise announced a voluntary recall of its treadmills in May, after reports of one death and dozens of injuries. It also reduced the price of his original bike by hundreds of dollars, in the hope of reaching more people with a discount.

While Peloton said it coordinated with HBO in placing one of its bikes on “And Just Like That …”, the network said the network did not announce the plot in advance for “confidentiality reasons”.

An HBO spokesperson did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

BMO Capital Markets analyst Simeon Siegel, who issued a note to clients last week saying the “Sex and the City” portrayal could indicate potential problems with the brand, said it was a wise move Hire Reynolds to help with a video response. (Reynolds previously snapped the actress in the infamous “Peloton Wife” commercial starring in an ad for his Aviation Gin brand.)

“One who doesn’t love Reynolds,” said Siegel. “It’s better to have Ryan on the Peloton than against.”

However, Siegel said he wondered how much the company spent to bring production together so quickly.

“In any case, it is worth understanding how much a Reynolds-Chris Noth deal costs,” he said.

Alec Baldwin fires prop gun on film set, killing crew member

Actor Alec Baldwin fired a prop gun at a film set on Thursday, killing the film’s cameraman and injuring its director, police said

Halyna Hutchins, 42, was killed on the set of Rust, a western filmed at Bonanza Creek Ranch in Sante Fe, New Mexico, and Joel Souza, 48, was injured, including the Santa Fe County Sheriff’s office communicated.

Hutchins was helicoptered to the University of New Mexico Hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Souza was taken to the Christ St. Vincent Regional Medical Center for treatment for his injuries.

The circumstances of the shooting are being investigated. No charges were brought.

“Tonight we received the devastating news that one of our members, Halyna Hutchins, director of photography for a production called ‘Rust’ in New Mexico, died of injuries sustained on set,” said John Lindley, president of International Cinematographers Guild and Rebecca Rhine, the managing director, in a statement on diversity.

“The details are currently unclear, but we are working to find out more and we support a full investigation into this tragic event,” the statement said. “This is a terrible loss and we mourn a member of our guild family.”

Hutchins graduated from the American Film Institute in 2015. She was involved in several short films before working on Archenemy, a 2020 feature film starring Joe Manganiello.

Born in Ukraine, she has a degree in international journalism from Kyiv National University and previously worked as an investigative journalist for British documentary productions in Europe.

In 2019 she was selected as one of the American Cinematographer’s Emerging Stars.

Hutchin’s death commemorates actor Brandon Lee, son of martial arts film legend Bruce Lee. Brandon Lee died after being shot by a prop gun while filming The Crow in 1993.

“There was an accident on the New Mexico set of Rust today that involved the misfiring of a prop gun with blanks,” a Baldwin spokesman said in a statement to NBC News. “Production has been suspended for the time being. The safety of our actors and crew remains our top priority.”

Baldwin, 63, co-produces Rust and plays the infamous outlaw Harland Rust, whose 13-year-old grandson was convicted of accidental murder. Rust travels to Kansas to free his grandson from prison, and the two fugitives must escape US Marshal Wood Helm and bounty hunter Fenton “Preacher” Lang.

Baldwin posted a photo of himself in costume for the film on Instagram early Thursday, complete with fake blood on his shirt.

Most recently known as President Donald Trump on Saturday Night Live and starring in the NBC comedy 30 Rock, Baldwin has won multiple Emmy and Golden Globe awards and was nominated for an Oscar and a Tony Award.

Baldwin has hosted “SNL” 17 times, more than any other person, and has starred in such films as “The Departed”, “Glengarry Glen Ross” and the Mission Impossible franchise. He was also the producer of director Souza’s film “Crown Vic”.

Baldwin has lost his temper in the past, including incidents that led to his arrest. In 2019, he pleaded guilty to molesting another person in connection with a parking lot dispute in Manhattan in November 2018.

He was previously arrested by the police for ridden his bike incorrectly and for misconduct after allegedly quarreling with the police who stopped him.

Baldwin was also acquitted of battery crimes charges after he was accused of beating a freelance photographer and breaking the lens man’s nose in 1995 in California.

The actor is married to Hilaria Baldwin and has six children together. He also has a daughter named Ireland from his previous marriage to actress Kim Basinger.

Disclosure: Comcast is the parent company of NBCUniversal and CNBC.

LG to pay as much as $1.9 billion to GM over Bolt EV battery fires

A 2019 Chevrolet Bolt EV caught fire at a house in Cherokee County, Georgia, on September 13, 2021, according to local fire departments.

Cherokee County Fire Department

LG Electronics has agreed to make a refund General Motors Up to $ 1.9 billion for the recall of Chevrolet Bolt EVs due to fire risks from faulty batteries from the South Korean supplier.

Issues with the Bolt – the company’s flagship mainstream electric vehicle – have led the automaker to recall every electric car since production began in 2016. The repair of the vehicles, including the complete replacement of some batteries, is on expected to cost $ 2 billionsaid GM on Tuesday. That’s an increase from an earlier estimate of $ 1.8 billion.

The deal between the companies is a huge win for the automaker, who Wall Street missed expectations in the second quarter due to provision costs for the recall.

As a result of the agreement, GM will recognize an estimated recovery in the third quarter that will offset $ 1.9 billion of the $ 2.0 billion in costs related to the recalls.

The production problems occurred at LG Battery Solution’s plants in South Korea and Michigan. The “rare manufacturing defects” on the Bolt electric vehicles are a torn anode strip and a folded separator, which GM says increases the risk of fire when they are in the same battery cell.

“LG is a valued and respected supplier to GM and we are excited to enter into this agreement,” said Shilpan Amin, GM’s vice president of global purchasing and supply chain, in a statement. “Our development and manufacturing teams continue to work together to accelerate the production of new battery modules and we expect to start repairing customer vehicles this month.”

$100 million New Jersey deli firm fires CEO Paul Morina

Paulsboro coach Paul Morina cheers on George Worthy as he takes on Bergen Catholic s Wade Unger in the 152-pound bout during a wrestling match at The Palestra in Philadelphia,

Joe Warner | USAToday

The shareholders of the mystery $100 million New Jersey deli company Hometown International fired CEO Paul Morina — a high school principal and renowned wrestling coach — after weeks of questions about the firm and his role there, a financial filing revealed late Friday.

Hometown International’s majority shareholders also voted to remove the company’s only other executive, vice president and secretary Christine Lindenmuth, who works with Morina as an administrator at nearby Paulsboro High School. The deli, located just across the Delaware River from Philadelphia, is Hometown’s only operating business asset.

Their ousters came a week after a previously unreported resignation of the president of a shell company, E-Waste, which has multiple connections to to Hometown International

Securities and Exchange Commission filings show that the shareholders voting to remove Morina and Lindenmuth almost certainly included all or some members of two different groups of investment entities, one based in Hong Kong, the other based in Macao, a special administrative region in Hong Kong.

Morina, 62, held a slew of other titles at Hometown International before he was removed. According to financial filings, he owns 1.5 million common shares of the deli owner, making him, on paper at least, worth more than $18 million.

Morina was replaced as chief executive officer by Peter Coker Jr., who is Hometown International’s chairman.

Coker Jr., who is based in Hong Kong, is aligned with investment entities there that have major stakes in the deli owner.

Coker Jr.’s father, North Carolina businessman Peter Coker Sr., himself is a major investor in the company.

The related shell company E-Waste also has replaced its president, John Rollo, 66, after similar questions were raised by CNBC about him, that company and its similarly preposterous sky-high market capitalization despite a total lack of ongoing business.

Rollo, a Grammy-winning recording engineer, until recently was working as patient transporter at a New Jersey hospital.

Rollo, also a New Jersey resident, was replaced as E-Waste’s president by 31-year-old Elliot Mermel, a California resident who is getting paid $8,000 per month in that role.

Mermel’s colorful business background includes founding a company that raised crickets as human food, and a partnership in a cannabis-related business with Paul Pierce, the former Boston Celtics superstar basketball player.

Pierce, who won an NBA title with the Celtics, last month was fired as an analyst by ESPN for a racy Instagram Live poss that showed him in a room with exotic dancers.

On Saturday, the Boston Globe reported that Pierce will be inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame as part of its 2021 class.

Mermel also founded a biotech company and an artificial intelligence company, and was a business development consultant to a fertilizer company, according to a financial filing.

Mermel, a Colby University graduate, has another company, Benzions LLC, that had been collecting $4,000 each month since December under a consulting agreement with E-Waste.

That agreement was terminated as part of his taking over management of E-Waste, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing on Thursday.

Boston Celtics forward Paul Pierce waves to the crowd after reaching No. 2 on the all-time Celtics scoring list, surpassing Larry Bird, during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Boston on Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Elise Amendola)

Elise Amendola

SEC filings show that Benzions in March signed another consulting agreement with a second shell company, Med Spa Vacations, connected to Peter Coker Sr., which likewise pays Mermel’s firm $4,000 per month.

CNBC has reached out for comment from Morina, Lindenmuth, Rollo, Mermel, Hometown International’s lawyer and a spokesman for the Hong Kong investors.

The current president of Med Spa Vacations is former E-Waste president Rollo, who took that job in February, according to filings.

The changes in executive leadership at both Hometown International and E-Waste were disclosed in 8-K filings with the SEC.

The deli owner’s filing gave no reason why shareholders who control 6 million shares of common stock — which represents about 77% of the company’s voting power — voted out Morina and the 46-year-old Lindenmuth. At least 5.5 million of Hometown International’s common shares are controlled by the Hong Kong and Macao investors.

Both Morina and Lindenmuth remain principals in the deli itself, according to the SEC filing.

Morina also is involved in an entity that leases the deli space to Hometown International.

E-Waste’s filing said that Rollo resigned as president on May 7, a day after CNBC reported on the opaque nature of the Macao group of investors.

Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J.

Google Earth

The moves appear — like other recent ones by each of the money-losing companies — to be an attempt to eliminate controversial issues that could harm their joint goal of merging with other firms in a transaction that would exploit their status as publicly traded companies on U.S. markets.

Hometown International first drew widespread attention last month when hedge fund manager David Einhorn, in a letter to clients, pointed out the company’s market capitalization, which had topped $100 million despite owning only a single small Italian deli.

That eatery had sales of less than $37,000 in sales for the past two years combined and was closed for nearly half of 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Einhorn noted the incongruity of Morina being Hometown International’s CEO while working his day jobs as high school principal and wrestling coach.

Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J.

CNBC

Morina’s team at Paulsboro high school is a perennial contender for state titles, and he is among the most successful coaches in New Jersey wrestling history.

But he has no apparent history of operating either a publicly traded company or food service business before the Hometown Deli opened in his own hometown.

However, Morina, whose brother is a New Jersey county sheriff, wrestled in the 1970s at Paulsboro High School with a man named James Patten, who works at Coker Sr.’s firm Tryon Capital.

Patten was barred by FINRA, the broker-dealer regulator, from acting as a stockbroker or associating with broker-dealers, according to the regulator’s database.

Before that sanction, Patten was the subject of repeated disciplinary actions by FINRA, which included not complying with an arbitration award of more than $753,000 for violating securities laws, unauthorized trading and churning a client’s account.

Since Einhorn’s letter, CNBC has reported other eyebrow-raising details about Hometown International and E-Waste, whose stocks, traded on the low-tier Pink over-the-counter market, in the past year have risen to stunning levels as ties have been formed between them.

Among those questions was why some investors would pay so much to buy shares in either thinly traded company, given their lack of meaningful revenue in the deli owner’s case, or, in E-Waste’s case, a lack of any revenue at all.

Even if both companies achieve their goal of engaging in reverse mergers or similar transactions with private firms looking to become publicly traded, current investors will not receive payments that reflect — in any way — the trading price of the stocks.

On Friday, just 205 shares of Hometown International were traded, closing at $12.40 per share. Given the company’s nearly 8 million shares of common stock outstanding, that gives it a market capitalization of $96.68 million.

E-Waste closed Friday at $9 per share, after no shares traded hands. With 12.5 million shares outstanding, E-Waste has a market cap of $112.5 million.

In recent weeks, both the deli owner and E-Waste disavowed their stock prices, saying in extraordinary SEC filings that there was no financial justification for their market capitalizations.

The moves followed the demotion of Hometown International from a more prestigious OTCQB over-the-counter market platform for what OTC Markets Group called “irregularities” in their public disclosures, and OTC Markets telling CNBC that it would be eyeing E-Waste as well.

A trio of Hong Kong investment entities led by Maso Capital, which last year became some of the largest investors in Hometown International’s biggest investors, are understood to be involved in likewise positioning E-Waste as a reverse merger candidate.

The Hong Kong investors include entities that are investment arms of Duke and Vanderbilt universities.

E-Waste’s biggest single investor, Macao-based Global Equity Limited, is also the largest investor in the deli owner, and in Med Spa Vacations, another shell company linked to Coker Sr..

The office building on Avenida Da Praia Grande in Macao, China, the address for multiple entities listed as investors in Hometown International, the owner of a single New Jersey deli.

Catarina Domingues | CNBC

Rollo remains the president of Med Spa Vacations, a shell company with no business operations whose office address is that of a business operated by Coker Sr.

Hometown International loaned Med Spa Vacations $150,000 in February, records show.

That loan came after E-Waste was loaned an identical amount by Hometown International in November, according to an SEC filing.

Records show that Coker Sr. loaned E-Waste $255,000 last September, most of which was used to pay the prior owners of E-Waste before they sold their shares to Global Equity Lmiited.

CNBC’s articles have detailed how Coker Sr., a former college basketball star who has refused to comment when contacted by a reporter, has been sued for allegedly hiding assets from a creditor to whom he owed nearly $900,000 and for business-related fraud. He denied wrongdoing in those cases.

He also has been arrested for soliciting a prostitute, according to a Raleigh, North Carolina, police report, and for exposing himself to and trying to proposition three underage girls, according to a 1992 newspaper article.

Peter Lee Coker mugshot from the Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification (CCBI).

Source: Raleigh/Wake City-County Bureau of Identification

A firm controlled by Coker Sr., Tryon Capital, had until recently been collecting $15,000 a month from Hometown International under a consulting agreement. E-Waste was paying Tryon Capital $2,500 per month for its own consulting agreement.

Those agreements were terminated last month after CNBC articles described those deals and Coker’s tangled legal history.

SEC filings show that Med Spa Vacations is paying Tryon Capital $2,500 per month for its own consulting agreement.

Coker Sr.’s partner in Tryon Capital, Peter Reichard, in 2011 was convicted in a North Carolina court of his role in a scheme that facilitated the illegal contributions of thousands of dollars to the successful 2008 campaign for governor by Bev Perdue, a Democrat.

The scheme involved the use of bogus consulting contracts with Tryon Capital. Coker Sr. was not charged in that case.

Peter Reichard, a top Perdue aide, takes the oath before his apearance in Wake County Court, Wednesday, December 14, 2011 in Raleigh, N.C.

John Rottet | The News & Observer | AP

Reichard is also a managing member, with Coker Sr., of an entity called Europa Capital Investments, which owns 90,400 common shares of Hometown International, and has warrants for another 1.9 million shares.

Reichard is the son of Ram Dass, the late spiritual and LSD guru who gained renown in the 1960s and 1970s.

CNBC earlier this week detailed how Coker Sr. and Reichard in 2010 created eight shell companies that were later sold off to other owners.

Most of those shell companies, after they were sold, ended up having their registrations revoked by the SEC for failing to keep current in their disclosure filings, records show.

One of the companies ended up being owned by a real estate tax lawyer in New York named Allan Schwartz, who did work for former President Donald Trump decades ago in connection with Trump’s real estate holdings. Schwartz told CNBC he knew nothing about Reichard and Coker Sr., or the deli owner.

Hometown Deli, Paulsboro, N.J.

Mike Calia | CNBC

Records show that a securities lawyer named Gregg Jaclin was involved in the creation of those shell companies. Jaclin also was involved three years later in the creation of Hometown International.

Jaclin was disbarred as an attorney last year after pleading guilty to federal criminal charges related to his creation of shell companies to sell to individuals “who used those shell companies as publicly traded vehicles for market manipulation schemes,” court records show.

None of the shells in that scheme were one of the ones created by Coker Sr. and Reichard, or to Hometown International.