Tyra Banks Responds to Criticism of ‘America’s Next Top Model,’ Agrees With Insensitivity

Tyra Banks Responds to Criticism of 'ANTM,' Agrees With Insensitivity
Tyra Banks arrives for the world premiere of "Life-Size 2" on November 27, 2018 at The Hollywood Roosevelt hotel in Hollywood, California. Shutterstock

Owning her mistakes. Tyra Banks admitted that she made some missteps in her early years of hosting America’s Next Top Model after controversial clips from the show resurfaced on social media.

“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” the model, 46, tweeted on Friday, May 8. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”

In one of the clips circulating online, Banks criticizes Cycle 6 contestant Dani Evans for not closing the gap in her teeth.

“So, Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed,” Banks said in the video. “Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?”

Evans, 34, responded, “Yes, why not?” to which Banks replied, “This is all people see. It’s easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl. It’s not marketable.”

The Monrowe fashion designer did get her gap partially closed and was later crowned the winner of the season. Evans explained in a video posted via Instagram on Thursday, May 7, that Banks’ comments did make her think about the future of her modeling career.

“Nothing or no one was going to stand in my way. And it wasn’t about copping out, it was about understanding what really carries weight and holds value in my life — and teeth wasn’t one of them,” Evans said.

In other resurfaced video clips, contestants had their skin darkened for a “biracial-themed” photo shoot in Cycle 13. In Cycle 4 contestant Kahlen Rondot was asked to pose in a coffin in a graveyard one day after her friend died.

Banks hosted America’s Next Top Model — which featured aspiring models competing for a modeling contract — since its premiere in 2003 before exiting the show in Cycle 23. Rita Ora briefly took over the role before the California native returned to host for Cycle 24.

The Modelland author, who began modeling at the age of 15, is well-versed in the struggles of the fashion industry. Banks told Us Weekly in November 2019 that she wasn’t sure if she wanted her 4-year-old son, York — whom she shares with her ex-boyfriend Erik Aslato pursue the cutthroat profession.

“Only if he wants to,” Banks said at the time. “I’m not really into that. If you notice, I don’t put him on social media. I feel like he hasn’t asked for that, so I try to protect him as much as I can.”

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