Victoria's Secret Doesn't Think Network TV Is the 'Right Fit' for Annual Fashion Show: Report

This year's Victoria Secret Fashion Show may not be broadcast on television, breaking with the runway show's longstanding tradition

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Looks like the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show will be undergoing some big changes.

On Friday, CNBC reported that a memo was sent to Victoria Secret employees by Les Wexler, the CEO of L Brands (the parent company of the brand), which stated that network television wasn’t the “right fit” for the annual runway show anymore.

“Fashion is a business of change. We must evolve and change to grow. With that in mind, we have decided to re-think the traditional Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show,” the memo read, according to CNBC, which obtained a copy. “In 2019 and beyond, we’re focusing on developing exciting and dynamic content and a kind of event — delivered to our customers on platforms that she’s glued to…and in ways that will push the boundaries in the global digital age.”

The lingerie extravaganza, which dates back to the 1990s, was first broadcast on television in 2001 on ABC. The event was broadcast on CBS from 2002 to 2017, returning to ABC last year.

According to CNBC, the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show had the worst ratings in the show’s broadcast history.

In addition to lower ratings, Victoria’s Secret has faced backlash for their lack of inclusion on the runway.

Addressing the controversy last November, L Brands executive Ed Razek sparked outrage after making his own controversial comments in an interview with Vogue when he said that the brand would not hire transgender or curvy 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. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special,” Razek said.

In a statement released days later, he apologized, saying that, “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.”

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Pop star Halsey, who performed at the 2018 VS Fashion Show in N.Y.C., wrote on social media that although being a part of the annual extravaganza “was supposed to be the best night of my year,” due to Razek’s comments (which were released after the show’s taping), she felt disappointed to be involved.

“I have adored the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since I was young,” Halsey, who has been open about identifying as bisexual, wrote on Instagram. “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 a lack of inclusivity. Especially not one motivated by stereotype.”

RELATED VIDEO: In Case You Missed It! All the Biggest Moments From the 2018 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show

However, Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo, who made her return to the runway last year after a hiatus since the birth of her two daughters, defended the lingerie retailer.

“There’s a lot of talk about everything but I think people need to also understand that it’s a show. It’s not saying negative or positive about any body type, it’s ‘this is who they are,'” Prinsloo said in an interview with Elle, which was published ahead of the show.

“We’re strong, we’re confident, and I think any woman is a Victoria’s Secret woman. But people also need to understand that it’s just a show. I don’t think that it says that they’re not for a certain type of body. It’s cool to talk about it and great to open up a conversation and so much good has happened,” she added. “Let’s just have fun and not make it about anything.”

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