While quarantining during the COVID-19 outbreak, many of Us have a whole lot of extra time on our hands. To stay entertained, there’s a chance you might be taking TV-binging to an entirely new level by rewatching buzzy shows like America’s Next Top Model.
But as fans rewatch the modeling competition, hosted by supermodel Tyra Banks, viewers have come across episodes and specific scenes that they’ve deemed brutal and problematic.
TikTok has unofficially become the social media platform of choice during quarantine, which means we’ve seen an onslaught of content having to do with the TV series. More specifically, viewers have been recirculating some of those controversial videos, which haven’t gone unnoticed by Banks, producers and well, the world.
The ANTM clips run the gamut from casting one of the competitors to be a “bulimia model” to having a photo shoot in which models were assigned a “new ethnicity.”
Viewers have also pointed out how insensitive many of Banks’ comments were. One that’s gone viral is when she criticized Dani Evans for having a gap in her front teeth. “It’s not marketable,” she told her, even though the supermodel was the season 6 winner.
In response to social media’s reaction to the resurfaced clips, Banks issued a Twitter apology on May 8. “Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” she wrote. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”
Some of Banks’ followers appreciated the comment and defended the show, but others weren’t as impressed.
“I THINK YOU WERE JUST REFLECTING WHAT YOUR EXPERIENCE IN THE INDUSTRY WAS,” tweeted a fan. “You were being real with people about what they would hear from others & thus preparing them for the job… May have come off harsh, but the modeling industry ain’t no bitch 🤷🏽♂️.”
Another Twitter user demanded more from Banks. “Say more about this. Which choices were off? What was off about them? Mere acknowledgement and genuine apology are not the same thing.”
Ken Mok, the producer of the series, also issued an apology. “Want to reiterate what @tyrabanks said,” he wrote. “I look at some of those #ANTM moments and cringe. Just a FYI – the entire creative team made the choices in those shows – not just Tyra. So please feel free to yell at me for some of the worst moments in ANTM history! Apologies to all.”
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