The CEO of Victoria’s Secret has resigned after Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek made transphobic comments earlier this month. Then, last week, Victoria’s Secret’s CEO Jan Singer unexpectedly resigned, though the cause hasn’t be disclosed. Many feel that it i is a direct result of Razek’s comments, but others claim that it’s the decline in stock price that caused the unexpected departure.
In November, Ed Razek gave an interview with Vogue in which he responded to consumers requesting transgender women and plus-size models to be included in the world-famous fashion show.
Razek said: “So it’s like, ‘Why don’t you do [a size] 50? Why don’t you do 60? Why don’t you do 24?’ It’s like, ‘Why doesn’t your show do this? 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. That’s what it is.”
Not only did the CMO infer that transgender women aren’t part of a fantasy, but also he used the term transexual, which is extremely outdated and offensive.
The comments sparked major backlash from consumers and those in the industry. One model, an Australian called for a boycott.
The CMO responded with an apology: “My remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show came across as insensitive. I apologize. 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.”