Just one month after L Brands Chief Marketing Officer Ed Razek opened his mouth to Vogue on how Victoria’s Secret prides itself on being a trans- and size-exclusive fantasy, the consequences of public bigotry in 2018 are rolling in. New York Times television reporter John Koblin tweeted this morning that the brand’s staple Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show lost more than a third of its 2017 viewership total.
"Victoria's Secret Fashion Show" viewership totals over the years...
2013: 9.7 million viewers
2015: 6.6 million
2017: 5 million
Last night: 3.3 million
— John Koblin (@koblin) December 3, 2018
Down to 3.3 million this year from 5 million in 2017, the trend is a relatively consistent drop in viewers. The show grossed 6.7 million viewers in 2016 and 9.7 million viewers in 2013, according to Business Insider and Koblin respectively.
“The executives at Victoria’s Secret may have found the perfect way to silence the many critics of its annual fashion show — by proving that it means absolutely nothing in the landscape of television entertainment,” wrote Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan in a burn to which I’m still applying alocane. “It may be that the company was so focused on defending its casting against those who call it anachronistic that it forgot that the whole argument becomes moot if the show is so boring that it’s unwatchable.”
Razek did apologize for his comments, saying plus-size and trans models didn’t make it to the runway “like many others” for reasons not pertaining to gender or size. And Victoria's Secret Lingerie CEO Jan Singer (who was not involved with his interview) did resign shortly after the debacle. But the “corrective” action taken to repair Razek’s PR disaster fell far short of adequate, and Singer’s departure came across as a woman taking the fall for the actions of her male superior.
While the drop in viewers is no radical increase from previous years, it is nice to know TERFs aren’t tuning in en-masse to offset the decay of a truly awful American pastime. Cheers to that.