Victoria’s Secret models demand end to 'egregious' abuse at brand

The letter calls Victoria's Secret's culture 'egregious'

More than 100 models, including Christy Turlington and Iskra Lawrence, have signed an open letter to Victoria's Secret Chief Executive Officer John Mehas this week asking him to take steps to end alleged abuse at the company.

“We write today because … the culture of misogyny, bullying and harassment at Victoria's Secret is even more egregious and more entrenched than previously understood,” it read.

The letter, drafted by nonprofit The Model Alliance, highlighted a New York Times report that described the company as having a toxic workplace enabled by Ed Razek and Les Wexner, two top executives at Victoria's Secret’s parent company, L Brands.

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Sources claimed Razek Asked women to sit on his lap and kiss him. And in a separate report, Sara Ziff, a model and the founder and executive director of the Model Alliance, told Business Insider the advocate group had been complaining of harassment for months.

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An L Brands spokesperson told BI the company wants to ensure the wellbeing of models and that it is has mirrored themes from Victoria’s Secret’s Respect Program, which asks companies that participate to uphold a workplace code of conduct that ensures safety.

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“We absolutely share a common goal with Model Alliance to ensure the safety and well-being of models," the spokesperson said. "Our robust Photo Shoot Procedures, including training and oversight, were implemented in May 2019 and reflect elements of the RESPECT Program. We're proud of the progress we've made and remain committed to continuous improvement. We're always open to engage with those looking to make improvements in the industry.”

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L Brands’ stock has jumped 29 percent in the past month but is down 9 percent on the year. It also owns retail brand Bath & Body Works, as well as PINK.

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