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Model Kate Upton is joining the bandwagon and speaking out against Victoria’s Secret for its lack of inclusivity.
On Sunday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen, a caller rang in to ask Upton, “What was your reaction to the rumors that Victoria’s Secret may not have a fashion show this year?” (The New York Times reported in May that the show was cancelled).
Cohen asked if Upton had worked with the lingerie brand, which has been in hot water recently due to ties between the founder of its parent company (L Brands’ Les Wexner) and the late Jeffrey Epstein, who was arrested on charges of sex trafficking in July. L Brands’ chief marketing officer, Ed Razek, resigned this month after saying last year that there was no place for plus-size or transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret fashion shows, “because the show is a fantasy.”
Upton said she had indeed worked with Victoria’s Secret and answered the caller by saying, “We’re sick of seeing the same body type. You have to be body-inclusive now. Every woman needs to be represented, otherwise it’s a snoozefest.” She’s appeared in catalog ads for Victoria’s Secret over the past decade, though the show’s creative director, Sophia Neophitou, said in 2012 that “we would never use” Upton in the fashion show.
Victoria’s Secret fashion show model Georgia Fowler has also reacted to news of the show’s cancellation, telling The Hollywood Reporter this month, “I mean, we’ve always had so much fun doing it so it’s a shame, but we’ll see what happens.” In 2018, the event averaged a “limp” 0.9 rating among adults aged 18-49 with only 3.3 million total viewers, THR reported.
This month, 100 models and Time’s Up co-signed a petition for Victoria’s Secret to fight sexual harassment by urging the brand to join the model-led anti-abuse program RESPECT. At the time, a Victoria’s Secret spokesperson told THR in a statement: “We are always concerned about the welfare of our models and want to continue to have dialogue with the Model Alliance and others to accomplish meaningful progress in the industry.” The label just hired its first transgender model, Valentina Sampaio, in August.
Watch Upton’s response below.
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