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Victoria’s Secret is facing backlash for tweeting in support of the LGBTQ community for Pride Month just months after the brand’s chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, made controversial remarks about the exclusion of transgender models from the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show.
PINK, the company’s line of lingerie and apparel geared at millennial and Gen Z women, tweeted the message on Tuesday, sharing that it’s “proud to celebrate our LGBTQ associates & customers that make an impact in their communities.” The tweet also featured the brand’s logo re-envisioned as a rainbow heart.
Here at PINK, we’re proud to celebrate our LGBTQ associates & customers that make an impact in their communities. Inclusion makes us stronger and we’re committed to giving everyone a voice. We’ll be sharing Pride stories from associates, Campus Reps and PINK fans all month long! pic.twitter.com/zJsh2MwuGK
— VSPINK (@VSPINK) June 4, 2019
But quickly after posting the message, critics began to question if Victoria’s Secret really meant what it said, considering Razek’s bold statements in an interview with Vogue back in November.
In the piece, which followed the brand’s 2018 fashion show, Razek addressed pressure to try something new with the brand and introduce a more inclusive cast of models, such as plus-size women or transgender models.
“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,” Razek said. “It’s a 42-minute entertainment special. That’s what it is.”
Now, Twitter users are reminding the brand that the “T” in LGBTQ actually stands for that same group of people that Razek spoke out against.
Anyone else remember when Victoria Secret said trans and plus size models aren’t allowed to model for them?? I do. https://t.co/0P6Nfpd7l2
— Kendall (@k_shaffer_) June 6, 2019
Y’all do know that T stands for trans right?
— joi (@joidean_) June 6, 2019
— Alexa Zinovenko (@zinoalex) June 4, 2019
You don’t want trans models because it doesn’t fulfill your “fantasy.” ✌🏻
— Kelsey Helmick 🏳️🌈 (@helmickkm) June 7, 2019
Change it back to pink. We don’t need y’all to support our community since we can’t sell “the fantasy”.
— christian (@aVileBitch) June 7, 2019
Others chimed in to share their assumptions that Victoria’s Secret likely took a financial hit after explicitly excluding the LGBTQ community from its brand, and are now trying to win those consumers back.
What’s that sound? The sound of your PR & marketing team scrambling to make Victoria’s Secret relevant again ☝🏻 byeeeee
— Chloe Hyman (@chloeXcrumpets) June 7, 2019
Damn those declines in sales hit diffrent huh 😂😂😂😂
— 🥀 (@lasantamuerta) June 6, 2019
"inclusion makes us stronger" literally implying that including the lgbtq would get you more money wewe
— liv 🦎 loves grapes 21 51 (@LIVlTATE) June 7, 2019
As long as they don't want to model or be taken seriously by your brand you're all about cashing in on the "Pride Trend"!! Please donate at least a portion of your earnings this month if you're going to pretend you care now!(:
— OhHighSugar (@HighSugar1) June 7, 2019
Victoria’s Secret didn’t immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment and has yet to publicly address the criticism. However, Razek apologized for his remarks just one day after the Vogue article was published.
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
“To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show,” Razek’s statement read. “I admire and respect their journey to embrace who they really are.”
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