Former Victoria’s Secret employee details ‘humiliating’ experience where she was body-shamed at work

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Former Victoria’s Secret employee details ‘humiliating’ experience where she was body-shamed at work
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Casey Crowe Taylor, a former Victoria’s Secret publicist, opened up about a “hurtful” experience where the company’s former executive, Ed Razek, allegedly body shamed her on set.

Crowe Taylor first shared her story during the third episode of Hulu’s Victoria’s Secret: Angels and Demons, which is centred on the lingerie brand’s success and downfalls while under the lead of its CEO, Leslie Wexner.

During the episode, Crowe Taylor disclosed details about working with Razek, who was the Chief Marketing Officer of the brand’s parent company, L Brands. Some of his responsibilities while working in the position from 1983 to 2019 included arranging Victoria’s Secret’s annual fashion show.

She shared a specific experience from 2015 that had occurred on set of a photoshoot during lunchtime. According to Crowe Taylor, as she was going to get more food at a buffet, she was “physically stopped” by Razek, before he began criticising her body.

“I was going up to get more and Ed physically stopped me, like stepped in front of me and said, ‘Are you really going to get more food?’ and I just kind of froze,” she explained. “And he’s like, ‘I really don’t know how you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning.”

She went on to recall how she “walked to the bathroom” and was “hot with humiliation” due to Razek’s comments. As she detailed how “hurtful” it was to be “harassed” at work, she also expressed how his “behaviour” towards his colleagues shouldn’t have been allowed.

“I’m shaking,” Crowe Taylor continued. “It was so confusing and hurtful and just like shocking being bullied and harassed out of nowhere in front of the world’s biggest supermodels. I realised this is not normal. This should not be an acceptable thing to happen but his behaviour was just so normalised.”

The publicist also explained that “about a week later”, Monica Mitro, the former EVP of Public Relations for Victoria’s Secret, approached her and mentioned how Razek “makes really weird jokes”. Crowe Taylor also said that she was then ultimately encouraged to resign, after her conversation with Mitro.

“Monica Mitro puts up an elbow on my cubicle wall and says, ‘By the way, Casey. Ed makes some really weird jokes sometimes. Doesn’t he?’ It was pretty much that day, I immediately started looking for other jobs,” she explained.

During a recent interview with People, Crowe Taylor opened up about the alleged incident and said she felt like she couldn’t “stand up” for herself during it, due to her job title.

“It was the disrespect and the humiliation of someone who is so low on the totem pole,” she said. “It’s not like I was in a position to stand up for myself or have a conversation.”

 (AFP via Getty Images)
(AFP via Getty Images)

She told the publication that she reported the incident to her boss who had spoken about it with Mitro. While Crowe Taylor also shared that she had spoken to human resources about Razak, she said that she’s still not sure if anyone spoke to him about his behaviour.

Regarding how Razak had treated Crowe Taylor, the former employee addressed how “alarming” it was that Mitro didn’t talk to her about “what happened” and “why it wasn’t ok”.

“Even having her say something like, ‘It wasn’t appropriate. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do about it. All I can do is tell you is that I know it wasn’t right,’” Crowe Taylor explained. “But there’s a fine line, if she acknowledges it, what does it become in the company?”

The former Victoria’s Secret worker went on to acknowledge how leaving the job was similar to a “heartbreaking breakup” because of how much she loved her position and then-employees. However, she said that she couldn’t stay at a company that “completely devalued” her.

“I love this job. I love the people that I work with but I cannot work in a place that completely devalues me and can’t even respect on a level of acknowledging what happened to me and saying it wasn’t ok,” she explained.

“This was a dream job. I loved it for a really long time. I was really happy,” she added. “And that’s what made the end so difficult because it felt like a really terrible, heartbreaking breakup.”

Elsewhere in the documentary, Crowe Taylor recalled another incident where Razek allegedly made inappropriate remarks to his co-workers. Specifically, he reportedly shared his own claims as to why he thought women would “work out”.

“I remember being on set once and Ed made the comment that women only workout to look good naked for men,” she claimed. “There was always this understanding that like that was just Ed.”

Back in 2020, Razek had denied sexual harassmeent allegations that were placed against him during an interview withThe New York Times. He told the publications that the claims were “untrue, misconstrued or taken out of context”.

Speaking to The Independent, a representative for Victoria’s Secret explained how the company “featured in this docuseries does not reflect today’s Victoria’s Secret & Co”.

“When we became a stand-alone company in August 2021, we set out to regain the trust of our customers, associates and partners,” they said. “Today, we are proud to be a different company, with a new leadership team and mission to welcome, celebrate, and champion all women. This transformation is a journey, and our work continues to become the Victoria’s Secret our customers and associates deserve — where everyone feels seen, respected, and valued.”

They also addressed how Razek and Mitro “are no longer with the company and have not been with the business for several years”.

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