A senior executive in Victoria’s Secret’s parent company has apologised after saying that transgender models shouldn’t be in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show because it’s “a fantasy.”
Ed Razek, chief marketing officer for L Brands, responded to a question about calls for increased inclusion from Vogue during an interview published on Thursday (November 8) by asking: “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show?
“No,” he answered his own question. “No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy.
“It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is,” the 70-year-old executive added.
“It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader.”
He also dismissed the idea that plus-size models deserve a place on the runway, saying: “We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t.”
Following backlash to these remarks, the company posted an apology from Razek on its Twitter page, in which he insisted that the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show had auditioned trans models.
The post read: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show came across as insensitive. I apologise.
“It was never about gender. I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
“To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show. We’ve had transgender models come to castings… And like many others, they didn’t make it… But it was never about gender.
“I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
What was the response to Victoria’s Secret’s apology?
For many, this apology was not enough to keep them shopping with Victoria’s Secret.
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Transparent actress Alexandra Grey was one of those who rejected Victoria’s Secret’s statement, writing: “Chile that weak ass apology!!! Keep it!!! ‘It’s not about gender’??
“Girl bye and girl stop!! It’s ridiculous in 2018 and with all that’s going on in the world, your company would say something so heinous and discriminatory. Who is y’all publicist?? #problematicAF #CANCELLED.”
“I read it,” wrote another person. “It’s crap. Thank u, next,” they added, referencing singer Ariana Grande’s latest release.
Others vowed to boycott Victoria’s Secret from now on, with one saying: “As a customer of Victoria Secret, I’m now a former customer of Victoria Secret and won’t be buying any Xmas gifts for family and friends there this year.”
Another said: “You’re certainly welcome to do and say as you please. However, as a transwoman who has spent quite a bit of money in your stores throughout the years, I will be reconsidering my shopping.
“If you don’t want us as part of your ‘fantasy,’ I won’t have you as part of my reality.”
One commenter wrote: “Not including trans/non binary and plus sized women is a choice. Choosing to never shop with y’all again is also a choice and it’s the one I’m making.”
Replying to this last message, another person said: “Right with you. I’ve blocked them for good measure so they don’t get ad revenue from me either.
“Gonna have to start looking more seriously at other cute lingerie brands, I’m sure there must be lots of great independent ones out there!”