After performing at the VS Fashion Show last month, Halsey caught wind of some shocking comments made by the brand’s Creative Director that left a bitter taste in her mouth about the show. Here’s what she had to say about it.
UPDATE: GLSEN provided HollywoodLife with an EXCLUSIVE statement in response to Halsey’s message, writing, ““When leaders of companies or our country say harmful things, LGBTQ youth are listening. Thankfully, they’re also hearing Halsey’s loving, compassionate, and affirming voice,” says Eliza Byard. “We’re so grateful to Halsey for speaking out and for supporting GLSEN. All young people deserve to feel safe in their schools and communities, and GLSEN fights for the core value of respect for all. At GLSEN we know that victimization of transgender and non binary students has increased in recent years. Last school year, more than 1,000,000 students took action with GLSEN in response. Please join them, us, and Halsey in support of trans youth, by signing up as an advocate at glsen.org/supportsafeschools.”
Halsey excitedly performed her latest single, “Without Me,” at the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show on Nov. 8, but when the show aired on Dec. 2, she didn’t promote her performance online. Instead, she shared a message with fans about why she wasn’t feeling so supportive of the brand any longer. “I have adored the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show since I was young,” she wrote. “Performing this year alongside other amazing artists, and hardworking models/friends was supposed to be the best night of my year. 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.”
This lengthy message was in response to remarks recently made by the brand’s Chief Marketing Officer of L Brands, Ed Razek, when asked if the show planned to start including trans or plus-sized models. “It’s like, why doesn’t your show do this? Shouldn’t you have transsexuals in the show? No, No I don’t think we should,” Ed told Vogue in November. “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.”
Based on these comments, Halsey decided that, instead of promoting her performance on social media, she would use her platform to promote an organization close to her heart. “Please allow me to direct your attention to GLSEN,” she wrote. “An organization that offers services aimed at protecting LGBTQ+ youth. And with respect to those youth targeted by these comments in a world where they have been made to feel “other,” I have made a sizable donation in their honor.” She concluded her message with a very specific dig at Ed, writing, “We stand in solidarity and complete and total acceptance is the only “fantasy” that I support.”
Even though Halsey didn’t promote the show any further after that, she did post a photo of herself and Bella Hadid from backstage at the show on Instagram with a supportive message. “Bella’s world and we’re just living in it,” she wrote. “Congrats on tonight bb you deserve it the most!” Aw!