Victoria’s Secret chief marketing officer Ed Razek apologized in a statement Friday for remarks he made in a Vogue interview published Thursday about why Victoria’s Secret hasn’t cast transgender models in their annual fashion show.
“My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize,” he wrote in a statement tweeted from the Victoria’s Secret account. “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.”
Please read this important message from Ed Razek, Chief Marketing Officer, L Brands (parent company of Victoria’s Secret). pic.twitter.com/CW8BztmOaM
— Victoria's Secret (@VictoriasSecret) November 10, 2018
Razek’s original comments, in which he referred to transgender people as “transsexuals,” an outdated term, implied that transgender models are not worthy of the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
“So it’s like, why don’t you do 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24? It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this?” he said. “Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No. No, I don’t think we should. Well, why not? Because the show is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”
Razek also made comments about plus-size models that drew criticism.
“I think we address the way the market is shifting on a constant basis. If you’re asking if we’ve considered putting a transgender model in the show or looked at putting a plus-size model in the show, we have,” he said. “We invented the plus-size model show in what was our sister division, Lane Bryant. Lane Bryant still sells plus-size lingerie, but it sells a specific range, just like every specialty retailer in the world sells a range of clothing. As do we. We market to who we sell to, and we don’t market to the whole world.”
“We attempted to do a television special for plus-sizes [in 2000]. No one had any interest in it, still don’t,” he claimed.
Model Kendall Jenner was among those who rebuked Razek’s comments. She posted an image of a button reading “celebrate trans women” to her Instagram story.
Model Tess Holliday tweeted that Victoria’s Secret can “kiss my fat ass.”
“Who needs VS anyway?! They never supported plus ladies & now they are trying to dis my trans sisters? Hell nah.”
She also expressed contempt for Razek’s apology.
This year’s annual show took place Thursday, with the televised edition airing Dec. 2 on ABC at 10 p.m.