Candace Owens Apologizes Following Tasteless Remarks She Made About Skims Ad Targeting Disabled People

by Xara Aziz
Candace Owens Podcast via YouTube

Right-wing political commentator Candace Owens has come under fire after speaking out against a recent ad produced by Skims, the multi-million-dollar clothing brand owned by Kim Kardashian.

The ad in reference is a shot of a model wearing a nude-colored bra and matching panties set while sitting in a wheelchair. The ad was to promote the brand’s Adaptive Collection, designed for wearers with limited mobility.

“I don’t really understand how far we’re going to take this inclusivity thing,” Owens said on her podcast. “Look, I assume that people who’re in wheelchairs also have to buy bras, have to buy underwear, I just assume that is a thing. I didn’t know that we needed to see that in our face,” she continued. “I didn’t know that now we’re going to have to look forward to campaigns where women that are in wheelchairs are now wearing bras and underwear because we as a society cannot get to the bottom of our ridiculousness.”

Since the podcast’s release, dozens of angered social media users took to the internet to disparage the 33-year-old Connecticut native for her irresponsible remarks.

One user included actor Christina Applegate, who was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. “Candace Owens, do you know when you have seen pictures of me how f*cking hard it was to get my clothes on?” wrote on Twitter. “A team has to help me! So I’m excited for accessibility clothing for me and my community. Hope you wake.”

Another user chimed in on TikTok stating “For you to get on camera and to say ‘how much more inclusive are we going to get’ because you don’t want to see wheelchair users featured in a beauty campaign or a Skims campaign is so disgusting to me. You know, once upon a time, inclusivity meant women that look like you. So you should know firsthand what discrimination feels like.”

Her video has since amassed over 1 million views.

Shortly after the backlash ensued, the model in the video decided to speak up as well. In an impassioned video she posted online, 34-year-old Haleigh Rosa said:

“I’m the girl in those pictures and, Candace, I have no idea what your intentions were when you decided to make that stupid video, but you must be completely unaware how resilient and amazing the disability community is. We’re not just in adapted campaigns — believe it or not, we’re everywhere.”

She added: “And I am so proud that I was in that Skims campaign, posing in a wheelchair, a bra, and underwear, because that means I’ve come so far in eight years. So if you don’t like it, use your legs and take a hike,” she said

She then spoke to BuzzFeed stating that after a car accident left her paralyzed at the age of 24, she wondered if she’d ever be able to find work in modeling.

“I remember sitting in a hospital bed for four months, crying every single day, wondering what my life would look like,” Rosa said. “I had not seen anyone like me in major campaigns. Seeing someone like you is extremely important; to feel seen is vital. [But] I love how my life turned out, and being in a campaign such as Skims shows how far I’ve come. I’m proud of my body. My hope is that someone, somewhere, feels like they relate to me in that ad and may become more comfortable.”

Following the interview, Owens has since issued an apology.

“If I was a model that was in this campaign, and I heard Candace say ‘what is this,’ I would probably be offended. So I apologize to her.”

She then went on to call the ad “patronizing” and a “participation trophy” for disabled people.

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