Blackface Comic Ted Danson Now Pitches Emotional Health

In spite of a history that includes performing in blackface, starring in vodka commercials, and donating to misogynist candidates including Al Franken, Bill Clinton, and John Edwards, Ted Danson is a “phenomenal ambassador” for mental health, says health insurance giant Cigna. Screenshot: thegrio.com

Cigna hails Ted Danson, who performed in black face, as a “cultural icon”

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Cigna Taps Ted Danson to Encourage Everyone to Take Control of Their Physical and Emotional Health

New influencer campaign urges people to schedule their annual check-up and talk with their health care provider about their total health – body and mind

BLOOMFIELD, Conn., Jan. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Global health service company Cigna Corporation (NYSE: CI) today unveiled a new initiative championing its whole person approach to health and well-being.

The company is bringing together three cultural icons, Queen Latifah, Nick Jonas and Ted Danson, to encourage everyone to schedule their annual check-up and talk openly and honestly with their health care providers about how they are feeling, physically and emotionally.

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Filmed in Los Angeles, the campaign takes a public service message approach and features the three influencers taking unique steps to find balance in their hectic personal and professional lives.

Using light humor, they each address the impact that widespread and relatable feelings, such as stress and loneliness, can have on overall health and well-being.

“It was important for me to partner with Cigna because they are looking at not just the body, but whole person wellness,” said Queen Latifah. “I’m so grateful for my fans and I want every one of them to be the best versions of themselves they can possibly be.

That means being proactive about your health by scheduling an annual well-exam and then making that time with your doctors meaningful by being open and honest about how you’re feeling. It’s a serious topic, so we’re using light humor to get our message across and I can’t wait for everyone to see what we have to share and hopefully, take those important actions.” (Coverage continues below the break … ) 

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CIGNA: Ted Danson is a “phenomenal ambassador” for body/mind health

“Our goal is to help all people – no matter whether they are Cigna customers or not – to be and feel their healthiest in body and mind, and preventive care is the way to achieve that,” added Stephen Cassell, vice president, global branding at Cigna. “Queen Latifah, Nick Jonas and Ted Danson are phenomenal ambassadors for this message. They each have the authenticity, motivation and personal commitment needed to spread our message about total health – body and mind – loud and clear across the world.”

Science shows a strong connection between physical and emotional health. Perceived stress is a risk factor for illnesses like type 2 diabetes1 and heart disease2, and sleep loss can lead to increased risk of developing depression3. Cigna released the findings of a study earlier this year on loneliness, which other research has shown to be as deadly as smoking 15 cigarettes per day4.

“Historically, physical health issues have been treated separately from our emotional health, however, Cigna has been an early pioneer in advocating for treating the whole person, including the body and mind, as one,” said Douglas Nemecek, M.D., chief medical officer for behavioral health at Cigna. “Getting your annual check-up and being open with your health care provider about what you’re feeling physically and emotionally isn’t just important, it’s a necessary step to living your healthiest life.”

This initiative builds upon Cigna’s preventive care efforts encouraging people everywhere to Go. Know. Take Control® by going to see their health care provider for an annual check-up, knowing their four health numbers (blood pressure, cholesterol, blood sugar and body mass index) and taking control of their health. To help bring this to life, Cigna developed a grassroots Health Improvement Tour (HIT) that travels the country visiting local communities to deliver free health screenings.

In 2018, HIT visited 139 cities at 237 events and provided more than 14,000 free screenings. In 2019, the tour will continue to make stops around the country helping people better understand their four health numbers.

Since launching Go. Know. Take Control two years ago, Cigna has seen an 18 percent increase in annual check-ups among Cigna customers5. With this initiative, Cigna is again calling on everyone to go, know and take control, but to also make the time they spend with their health care provider even more impactful by having an open discussion about both their physical and emotional health.

Annual check-ups can help find issues early and are an opportunity for people to have a conversation with their health care provider about all aspects of their health. Doing so can help prevent serious health conditions and improve overall physical health and emotional well-being6.

The initiative featuring Latifah, Jonas and Danson will appear on multiple platforms, including television, digital and social channels.

In the social content, the three influencers speak openly about their reasons for partnering with Cigna and discuss the powerful link between the body and mind. The goal is to help people realize the importance of talking to their health care provider about their emotional health, encourage them to make an appointment and then pass the advice on to others.

On December 20, Cigna announced it had successfully completed its combination with Express Scripts Holding Company, bringing together two complementary and industry leading health service companies. The combined company is establishing a blueprint for personalized, whole person health care and providing enhanced predictability and affordability. Cigna with Express Scripts is working to transform health services – reducing costs, while improving the customer experience, care quality and health outcomes.

For more information about the connection between physical and emotional health, visit Cigna.com/takecontrol today. Source.

Cigna

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Cigna is an American worldwide health services organization based in suburban Bloomfield, Connecticut and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Its insurance subsidiaries are major providers of medical, dental, disability, life and accident insurance and related products and services, the majority of which are offered through employers and other groups (e.g. governmental and non-governmental organizations, unions and associations).

Revenue: US$ 41.616 billion (2017)
Net income: US$ 2.232 billion (2017)

Ted Danson

Edward Bridge Danson III (born December 29, 1947) is an American actor and producer who played the lead character Sam Malone on the NBC sitcom Cheers, Jack Holden in the films Three Men and a Baby and Three Men and a Little Lady, and Dr. John Becker on the CBS sitcom Becker.

He also starred in the CBS dramas CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and CSI: Cyber as D.B. Russell. Additionally, he played a recurring role on Larry David’s HBO sitcom Curb Your Enthusiasm, starred alongside Glenn Close in legal drama Damages, and was a regular on the HBO comedy series Bored to Death. In 2015 he starred as Hank Larsson in the second season of FX’s black comedy-crime drama anthology Fargo.

Since 2016, he has played the afterlife “architect” Michael in the NBC sitcom The Good Place.

During his career, Danson has been nominated for 16 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning two; ten Golden Globe Awards nominations, winning three; one Screen Actors Guild Award; and one American Comedy Award and has been awarded a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame. He was ranked second in TV Guide’s list of the top 25 television stars. Danson has also been a longtime activist in ocean conservation. In March 2011, he published his first book, Oceana: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them, written with journalist Michael D’Orso.

Relationship with Whoopi Goldberg

While a guest on The Arsenio Hall Show in late 1988, he met actress Whoopi Goldberg, whom he described as “a sexy, funny woman”. The two became friends, co-hosting Help Save Planet Earth in 1990, a video guide to saving the environment (Danson played himself, Goldberg played the role of Mother Earth).

However while making Made in America in April 1992, the two became romantically involved—a pairing which was heavily featured in gossip tabloids such as the National Enquirer. The couple also appeared on the Rock the Vote TV special that same year, as well as being set to star in a Paramount-produced version of Neal Barrett Jr.’s Pink Vodka Blues, written by Marshall Brickman.

Danson experienced substantial negative press attention on October 8, 1993, after his appearance in blackface at a Friars Club comedy roast in honor of Goldberg. In his monologue, Danson made extensive use of offensive racial stereotypes, used the word “nigger” more than a dozen times, and ate a watermelon, angering such guests as Montel Williams and Mayor David Dinkins.

Goldberg defended the sketch, explaining that she had helped write much of the material and referred Danson to the makeup artist who painted his face. Danson and Goldberg issued statements emphasizing “the Friars Club tradition of raucous and over the top humor” and describing those offended as newcomers who “were uncomfortable with what to expect”.

Substantial excerpts from the performance were later printed in Spy. On November 5, 1993, Danson and Goldberg issued a statement signaling the end of their relationship.

Political activism

Danson is a friend of former U.S. President Bill Clinton, who attended Danson and Mary Steenburgen’s wedding.

Danson has donated more than $85,000 to Democratic candidates, including Al Gore, John Edwards, Barbara Boxer, Bill Clinton, Al Franken and John Kerry.

He has also donated to the Democratic Party of Arkansas and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Danson and Steenburgen campaigned for Senator Hillary Clinton during her 2008 presidential campaign.

He attended the wedding of their daughter Chelsea on July 31, 2010. He appeared with Steenburgen at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. On October 3, 2016, he helped open the new headquarters in Lancaster at the old Queen Pharmacy on King Street for Hillary Clinton.