Ed Razek made the remarks when asked if the lingerie brand was seeing a “shifting desire” from what audiences wanted to see during its annual fashion show.
The 70-year-old said he didn’t think transgender models should walk the runway because the show “is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”
PSA to Ed Razek that his interview was trash. To even entertain the idea that trans people aren't the ideal? Because that is clearly what you meant by 'fantasy' lets be real. And to say that plus sized models aren't desired either? Trash. #VSFashionShow#equalitymeanseveryonepic.twitter.com/oIyYCWydXk— ashleigh (@mashmato_) November 10, 2018
The company published a statement from Razek on Friday in which he apologized for his “remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show” that “came across as insensitive.”
“To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show,” the statement read. “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
Responding to the controversy, transgender model Carmen Carrera wrote on Twitter that the “worst feeling in the world is knowing you have what it takes but are being denied simply for being who you are.”
All this VS drama got me feeling so nauseous.— Carmen Carrera (@Carmen_Carrera) November 10, 2018
The worst feeling in the world is knowing you have what it takes but are being denied simply for being who you are.— Carmen Carrera (@Carmen_Carrera) November 10, 2018
Many social media users also expressed disdain about the apology:
Nawww, keep that same energy. He said what he said and how he said it. We get it. We aren't welcome.— Isis King (@MsIsisKing) November 10, 2018
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— Alexandra Grey (@1alexandragrey) November 10, 2018
Ed Razek specifically said trans models didn’t make it in past shows because they weren’t a part of the “fantasy” that they were trying to sell. So yes, they did deny trans models opportunities in the past simply because of their gender. https://t.co/GiwGkNX7vD— Raquel Willis (@RaquelWillis_) November 10, 2018
Bye Victoria's Secret you're canceled. Trans women are a fantasy and you don't deserve them.— Mike Ferlita (@MkFerlita) November 11, 2018
Victoria’s Secret made a career out of making women feel sexy. It’s impossible to keep that narrative when you turn your back on trans women & plus size women. It’s a sad day in fashion, but TRUST, I’ll get over it. I was never a VS fan. It’ll be easy for me not to support them.— Ricki Sophie Ortiz (@HelloKittyRicki) November 10, 2018
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost.