NEW YORK – On a night filled with sexy lingerie, gorgeous supermodels, live music performances and a six-million-dollar production for Victoria's Secret, it wasn't scantily clad women that shocked the audience Thursday night, but members of PETA who crashed the runway.
Four women associated with People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals followed Gisele Bündchen down the runway holding signs that read "Gisele: Fur Scum," protesting the supermodel's recent advertising campaign for American Legend's Blackglama brand mink coats.
"Compassionate people everywhere were outraged when she agreed to be a spokesmodel for one of the cruelest industries on the face of the earth," said Lisa Franzetti of PETA.
When asked how the protesters got through the heavy security at the 69th Regiment Armory in midtown Manhattan, Franzetti said,"[the] better question is, why were there only four women up there and not more?"
But the brouhaha was over as quickly as it started and the models on the runway barely missed a step.
"This show is about strong women and powerfully positioned women," said Edward Razek, President and Chief Marketing Officer for Limited Brands, parent company of Victoria's Secret.
Tyra Banks stole the show with a flamenco number danced to the late Spanish composer Rodrigo's famous guitar concerto. With attitude that ranged from tough to fun-loving, Banks strutted her stuff down the runway with such confidence it's no wonder she's one of the fashion world's most sought-after models.
"It's everything you'd want in a television show," said Jack Sussman, senior vice president of special programming for CBS, the network airing the show Nov. 20. "They're strutting their stuff and we're making a television show of it."
"Yeah, it's going to be fun," said Banks while backstage getting her hair and makeup done before the show.
Heidi Klum admitted to being a "little nervous," adding "when millions of people will be watching, it sticks to the back of your head."
Klum not only took to the catwalk but also co-hosted the show with Sugar Ray frontman Mark McGrath. Recording artists Marc Anthony, Destiny's Child and Phil Collins all performed for the taping.
But it was the models people came to see.
"When we cast the show we knew we we'd have Heidi, Naomi Campbell, Tyra and Gisele," said Monica Mitro, vice president of public relations for Victoria's Secret. "We saw hundreds of women, but the thing about the Victoria's Secret fashion show is you are wearing next to nothing, walking in four-inch heels and this year millions of people will be watching."
As far as the PETA fracas is concerned, don't expect to see it included on the CBS broadcast. The segment was retaped immediately after security removed the demonstrators.