When Christina Applegate walked the red carpet at the Screen Actor Guild Awards in February, she sent a strong message to her 2021 MS diagnosis: “FU MS” read the letters on her cane.
That symbol of defiance in the face of multiple sclerosis has inspired a new collaboration between the actress, 51, and Neo Walk, the UK walking stick company that custom designed her SAG cane.
The special edition cane (“FU MS” is written on a removable tag; a removable metal collar can be personalized with any message) is now available at neo-walk.com for £120 (about $150), with 5% of the profits going to the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America and the UK’s MS Society.
Applegate first learned of Neo Walk — founded by Lyndsay Watterson, who is an amputee — from her friend Selma Blair, who also lives with MS. “I saw Selma’s canes and fell in love with them,” Applegate says. “If I need to have a mobility aid, I might as well have a cool one. Lyndsay and I became friends and we decided to create one together that benefits the community.”
The collaboration, a clear acrylic cane which features a black DNA strand weaving through the center (which “symbolizes the invisible differences people have with chronic illness,” Watterson says), is one of the few projects Applegate has taken on recently.
After wrapping her Netflix series Dead to Me late last year, the actress has said she decided to step away from acting to deal with the effects of her MS, telling the Los Angeles Times earlier this year that her SAG award appearance was “my last awards show as an actor probably, so it’s kind of a big deal. Right now, I couldn’t imagine getting up at 5 a.m. and spending 12 to 14 hours on a set; I don’t have that in me at this moment.”
Instead, Applegate, who has been raw and open about the struggles she’s endured with the illness, is prioritizing her health, a friend tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “Christina needs to focus on herself right now,” the friend says. “What she chooses to share with the public is very real and in her own time, but her energy and focus right now needs to be on taking care of herself and her family as she learns how to live with MS. MS affects everyone differently so she needs to tune into what works for her and what triggers her flare ups.”
But, the friend adds: “Christina is one of the strongest people I know and also one of the most caring and generous, so it doesn’t surprise me at all that she took time to collaborate and create a design that reflects her attitude and will also benefit others.”
Christina Applegate Online supports the SAG-AFTRA strike.
The nearly 160,000 members of SAG-AFTRA, the union that represents all performers on film and television, are going on strike.
On Thursday, the Screen Actors Guild – American Federation of Television and Radio Artists (SAG-AFTRA) announced its national board voted unanimously to launch the guild’s first strike. The news was unveiled by SAG-AFTRA President Fran Drescher and National Executive Director & Chief Negotiator Duncan Crabtree-Ireland during a press conference, following the expiration of the union’s current contract and a 12-day extension of contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Pictures and Television Producers (AMPTP).
Why are the actors going on strike?
The short answer is because the SAG-AFTRA bargaining committee and AMPTP could not reach an agreement to form a new contract after their previous one expired on June 30.
But the reasons for a strike are many. SAG-AFTRA has faced a host of radical changes as the industry has pivoted away from more traditional models of theatrical distribution and network and cable television in favor of streaming. The issues at hand include the use of AI in generating and perpetuating actors’ likenesses, as well as residuals and data transparency for streaming projects. Other points of conflict are also salaries, particularly for guest stars, costars, and background actors, as rising inflation and the cost of living increasingly prevent many working actors from earning a living wage.
Drescher summed up the reasons for a strike in a press conference speech. “We are being victimized by a very greedy entity. I am shocked by the way the people that we have been in business with are treating us,” she said. “I cannot believe it, quite frankly. How far apart we are on so many things. How they plead poverty, that they’re losing money left and right while giving hundreds and millions of dollars to their CEOS. It is disgusting. Shame on them. They stand on the wrong side of history at this very moment.”
She continued: “The entire business model has been changed by streaming, digital, AI. This is a moment of history that is a moment of truth. If we don’t stand tall right now, we are going to be in trouble. We are all going to be in jeopardy of being replaced by machines and big business, who cares more about wall street than you and your family.”
Christina Applegate is nominated for her role as Jen Harding on Dead to Me at the 75th Emmy Awards!
Lead Actress In A Comedy Series
Christina Applegate (“Dead to Me”)
Rachel Brosnahan (“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”)
Quinta Brunson (“Abbott Elementary”)
Natasha Lyonne (“Poker Face”)
Jenna Ortega (“Wednesday”)
As for now, FOX is slated to air the 75th Primetime Emmys on Monday, September 18, produced by Jesse Collins Entertainment. But as Variety reported on Monday, the WGA strike and potential SAG-AFTRA strike will likely push the telecast to either November (the TV Academy’s choice) or January (when Fox would like to air it). A host has not yet been named.
Christina Applegate is nominated at the 2023 HCA TV Awards for her role as Jen Harding on Dead To Me! Due to the ongoing WGA strike and the SAG/AFTRA strike looming, winners of the 2023 HCA TV Awards will no longer be presented on August 12th and August 13th. Presentation of the HCA TV Awards Winners is TBD.
Best Actress in a Streaming Comedy Series
Christina Applegate – Dead to Me (Netflix)
Jenna Ortega – Wednesday (Netflix)
Kim Fields – The Upshaws (Netflix)
Maya Rudolph – Loot (Apple TV+)
Natasha Lyonne – Poker Face (Peacock)
Rachel Brosnahan – The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Prime Video)
Selena Gomez – Only Murders in the Building (Hulu)
Tatiana Maslany – She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (Disney+)
Source: Awards Radar
Christina Applegate and Dead To Me have been nominated at the 2023 Gold Derby TV awards! Fans get to cast their votes for their favorites! Head over to Gold Derby now and vote – voting is open until July 28th!
Christina Applegate, “Dead to Me”
Rachel Brosnahan, “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
Quinta Brunson, “Abbott Elementary”
Bridget Everett, “Somebody Somewhere”
Selena Gomez, “Only Murders in the Building”
Natasha Lyonne, “Poker Face”
“Dead to Me”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”
“Only Murders in the Building”
“Barry” – “It Takes a Psycho”
“The Bear” – “Review”
“Dead to Me” – “We’ve Reached the End”
“The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” – “Four Minutes”
“The Other Two” – “Cary and Brooke Go to an AIDS Play”
“Reservation Dogs” – “Mabel”
Source: Gold Derby