Ed Razek made the remarks when asked if the lingerie brand was seeing a “shifting desire” from what audiences wanted to see during its annual fashion show.
The 70-year-old said he didn’t think transgender models should walk the runway because the show “is a fantasy. It’s a 42-minute entertainment special.”
The company published a statement from Razek on Friday in which he apologized for his “remark regarding the inclusion of transgender models in the Victoria’s Secret Fashion show” that “came across as insensitive.”
“To be clear, we absolutely would cast a transgender model for the show,” the statement read. “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.”
Responding to the controversy, transgender model Carmen Carrera wrote on Twitter that the “worst feeling in the world is knowing you have what it takes but are being denied simply for being who you are.”
Many social media users also expressed disdain about the apology: