The annual Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, which aired last night, is basically the Superbowl of lingerie – right down to the controversy, it seems. The lingerie company’s history of accommodating and recognizing the diverse spectrum of bodies isn’t exactly the best, with this spotty track record even leading plus-size model Robyn Lawley to petition a boycott against this year’s event.
The company was forced to further reckon with their inclusivity-averse habits last night after trans-exclusionary comments surfaced from the organization’s Chief Marketing Officer which have many – even Halsey, who performed in last night’s show – denouncing the company.
In an interview with VOGUE from last month, Ed Razek, the CMO of Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands, was quoted coming out against the inclusion of trans models in his company’s annual show, stating his belief that “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.”
Following the airing of the special last night, Razek’s comments (which he has since apologized for) and their implication of a world where trans bodies can never exist as desirable were immediately taken to task by Halsey on social media.
The singer, who performed “Without Me” at the event, released a statement that “I have adored the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show since I was young,” however “after I filmed the performance, some comments were made regarding the show that I simply cannot ignore. As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I have no tolerance for lack of inclusivity, especially one motivated by stereotype.”
She informed fans and readers that she had made a sizeable donation to GLSEN, an organization aimed at preventing the very othering of queer voices present in Razek’s comments. Signing off, Halsey reminded those affected by these exclusionary attitudes that “we stand in solidarity, and complete and totally acceptance is the only ‘fantasy’ I support.”
Victoria’s Secret has yet to respond to Halsey’s comments, which you can read in full below: