Christina Applegate, who has been outspoken about living with multiple sclerosis, slammed Candace Owens this week for mocking an underwear ad featuring a wheelchair-bound model.
In the early hours of Thursday morning, the “Dead to Me” star posted a series of tweets denouncing the conservative pundit’s dismissive comments and advocating for greater accessibility in the garment industry. Applegate’s tweets come a few weeks after Owens considered Skims campaign adapted to people with disabilities unnecessary and “ridiculous” in her self-titled podcast.
“Yeah, late tweet. But I woke up to see the most horrible thing. Applegate wrote Thursday.
“This Candace person making comments about companies that see we need help. He is fucking disgusting. Thanks to skims and Tommy (Hilfiger) and Guide beauty and @neowalksticks for seeing us. To (Owens) #youshouldknowbest.”
In February, Owens mocked a social media promotion for Skims’ “Adaptive Fits Everybody Scoop Bralette,” which according to the brand’s website includes a “front hook-and-eye closure for increased dressing accessibility.” The ad featured the tagline “SKIMS: Made for All Bodies” and a wheelchair-bound woman modeling the clay-colored bralette and matching underwear.
Skims is a line of clothing, underwear and shapewear launched by beauty mogul and reality TV star Kim Kardashian in 2019.
“I don’t know why it’s necessary to do this,” Owens said in response to the announcement. “I’m getting tired of all this inclusion stuff.”
Applegate was one of many in the disability community and beyond who rebuked Owens’ remarks. Owens responded to the backlash on Wednesday in a podcast episode titled “Sorry, Representation Doesn’t Matter,” doubling down on his comments and arguing that “everything is not meant to be for you.”
“I’m going to try to sleep but my anger keeps me awake” Applegate tweeted Thursday.
“Candace Owens, do you know when you’ve seen pictures of me how fucking hard it was to put my clothes on? A team has to help me!!! So I’m excited about the accessibility of clothing for me and my community.”
Owens responded to Applegate on Thursday via Twitter and admitted that he “didn’t know this particular ad featured specific technology designed for people with disabilities, which was an honest mistake.”
“What we thought it was at the time, was another no-nonsense ‘representation matters’ DEI initiative that I strongly believe sponsors the people it purports to represent… This was not that and we just got it wrong,” Owens continued.
“If you felt personally attacked by this error, I apologize. We just didn’t know… that the underwear was created for handicap access.”
The model in the Skims ad, Haleigh Rosa, also reacted to Owens’ tirade. in an interview with Yahoo Life. Rosa, who is paralyzed from the waist down due to a spinal cord injury, admitted that she was “shocked” to hear Owens’ comments and worried about the damage the bully’s words could inflict on disabled youth.
“I’m fine,” he said. “I’ve… been in contact with a lot of people in the disability community today and I have to say there really isn’t anything like it. Everyone supports each other.”
Since announcing his MS diagnosis in August 2021, Applegate has been outspoken about what he called a “rough” journey with the chronic disease, which affects the nervous system and can often cause physical and cognitive impairment. In November 2022, she made her first public appearance after her diagnosis to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. During the ceremony, the “Married… With Children” alum gave a humorous speech in which she acknowledged her disability and carried a striped cane.
“I thought my last tweet was enough. But then my heart said something else. No anger”, Applegate continued Thursday.
“If Candace wants to call me on the phone for disability education. I will not come in anger. I will come with love. Because she needs to hear that. I pray for her tonight. Sincerely”.