Victoria’s Secret has announced the brand will no longer air their blockbuster fashion show on television. The announcement caps off a string of bad news for the lingerie retailer and comes after criticisms surrounding inclusivity.
According to a New York Times report, an internal memo at the company says the brand is “taking a fresh look at every aspect of our business.” As a part of that new vision, network television apparently isn’t the right fit. Welp. An almost 20 year legacy, gone just like that. But it was not without good reason.
Though the show first aired in 2001, attracting millions of viewers, viewership has been rapidly declining in the past half decade. According to the Times, it has dropped by roughly two-thirds in that time And while this doesn’t necessarily mean that the company is doing poorly — it remains the largest lingerie company in the United States — it does show that they are becoming increasingly out of step with consumers.
In November, chief marketing officer of the Victoria’s Secret parent company L Brands Ed Razek defended the company’s decision to not cast plus size or transgender models in the brand’s shows. "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," Razek said, stipulating that when they tried to do a plus-size show, no one watch. He then went on to explain why Victoria's Secret won't cast "transsexuals" in their show. "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. It is the only one of its kind in the world, and any other fashion brand in the world would take it in a minute, including the competitors that are carping at us. And they carp at us because we’re the leader. They don’t talk about each other. I accept that." Well, looks like not so many people are into that “fantasy” any more.
He then apologized days later saying that the brand would “absolutely” cast transgender models in the show. It wasn’t enough though as people continued to criticize the comments. Amongst those people was Halsey, who performed at the label’s last show in December. Shortly after the performance aired she uploaded a statement to Instagram saying she had “no tolerance for a lack of inclusivity” and had “made a sizable donation” to GLSEN.
Moving forward, in place of the show, the brand will reportedly introduce “a new kind of event” on different platforms. Ok sis, whatever you say.