Owens later responded to Applegate, saying that she apologizes if the actress — who has multiple sclerosis — “felt personally targeted by this mistake.”
Christina Applegate is calling out Candace Owens after she criticized a SKIMS ad that featured a disabled model in a wheelchair.
Owens has been receiving backlash over comments she made about an ad for the SKIMS Adaptive Collection. On an episode of her Daily Wire podcast earlier this month, the conservative commentator went on a rant about the ad, which included model Haleigh Rosa, a disability and inclusion advocate, posing in a SKIMS bra and underwear while sitting in a wheelchair.
“I don’t really understand how far we’re going to take this inclusivity thing. I really don’t get it,” Owens said of the ad, which came out last year. “If I’m wrong again, educate me. Today, I just want to be educated in the comments… I don’t know why this needs to be done. I’m getting tired of this all-inclusivity thing. It seems ridiculous.”
On Wednesday, Applegate — who has multiple sclerosis — took to Twitter to react to Owens’ comments, calling her words “f—ing gross.”
“Yes late tweet.But woke to see the most horrifying thing. This Candace person making comments about companies who see we need help. It’s f—ing gross,” she wrote, before giving a shoutout to brands, such as Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS, Neo-Walk sticks and Guide Beauty, whose founder Terri Bryant has Parkinson’s, and Chief Creative Officer is Selma Blair, who, like Applegate, has MS.
However, to Owens, Applegate said, “#youshouldknowbetter.” The “Dead to Me” star continued to criticize Owens, writing that her “rage” was “keeping me awake.”
“Candace Owens, do you know when you have seen pictures of me how f—ing hard it was to get my clothes on? A team has to help me!!!” she tweeted. “So I’m excited for accessibility clothing for me and my community.Hope u wake.”
The 51-year-old actress went on to post a third tweet. “I thought my last tweet was enough. But then my heart said something else. No rage,” Applegate said. “If Candace wants to get on the phone with me to be educated on being disabled. I will not come with anger. I will come with love. Because she needs to hear that. I pray for her tonight.sincerely.”
Later on Wednesday, Owens responded to Applegate on Twitter, sharing that she’s open to having a conversation with her.
“Hey Christina — huge fan of yours. Would welcome a discussion with you. DMs open,” Owens wrote.
She continued, “I think Christina, that what you may have missed is that covering absurd DEI [diversity, equity, and inclusion] initiatives is a recurring beat on my show.”
Owens claimed that she didn’t know the “particular ad featured a specific technology designed for people with disabilities, which was an honest mistake,” adding, “What we thought it was at the time, was another nonsensical ‘representation matters’ DEI initiative which I strongly feel patronizes the people it purports to represent. (Example: clinically obese people modeling swimsuits). This wasn’t that and we simply got it wrong.”
The podcast host said her and her team “create show 5 days a week,” noting that it’s “an impossibility that we would not at some point make an honest mistake.”
She continued, “If you felt personally targeted by this mistake, I apologize to you. We simply did not know (the ad did not state) that the underwear was created for disabled access.”
Owens previously reacted to the backlash over her comments on Tuesday’s episode of her podcast.
“Let’s debunk the idea that I’m an ableist. I thought that was really, really interesting, that I somehow wanted to pursue disabled people and I somehow wanted them out of space,” she said. “That is absolute nonsense.”
She went on to call out Kardashian directly, posting the snippet from the podcast episode on Twitter.
“Do you actually believe [SKIMS founder] Kim Kardashian uses obese models because she wants to be inclusive’?” she wrote alongside the clip. “That she thinks the beauty standard needs to shift? No, she doesn’t. She’s checking off a box & making millions of dollars so she can get procedures to look nothing like them.”
Meanwhile, earlier this week, Haleigh Rosa, the model featured in the SKIMS ad, shared her thoughts on Owens’ remarks about the campaign.
While speaking with Forbes, Rosa — who uses a wheelchair after she became paralyzed from the waist down following a car accident — said, “After getting injured I remember not seeing anyone like me in campaigns. At the same time, I was relearning simple tasks like clothing myself. It would have been so helpful to see someone in a wheelchair; I’m so happy that we’re finally coming around. Seeing someone like you matters; representation matters.”
Like Applegate, Rosa offered to “educate” Owens on the topic. “Wheelchair users will not agree with [Owen’’] views,” she said. “If [Owens] truly wants to educate herself, she can reach out to me. I’m not one for cancel culture; I believe in the power of education. I’d love to have a conversation and educate Candace.”