Last week, the internet took a trip down memory lane by looking back at some old clips from America’s Next Top Model, which premiered in 2003 and aired for 24 seasons.
Unfortunately, it’s wasn’t a fun nostalgic trip. It was more of an OMG-I-can’t-believe-this-was-ever-aired-on-television trip.
Many on Twitter pointed out just how terribly the show has aged, particularly the behavior of creator/host Tyra Banks.
Like the time she told a contestant not to be too proud about being gay lest she annoy people with her identity on the red carpet…
Nah how did Tyra get away with this LOL pic.twitter.com/XrguUvgWFh
— Tanya Compas (@TanyaCompas) May 2, 2020
Or the time she bullied a contestant for having a gap in her teeth. (Banks later crowned the contestant the winner of the season, but only after she agreed to fix her teeth.)…
Why was this allowed to air wtf Tyra banks is going to straight hell pic.twitter.com/xtiWl3srKJ
— Aisha Oladapo (@OladapoAisha) May 5, 2020
Or the time she made a model do a photo shoot in a graveyard the day after her best friend died tragically…
Thinking about how Tyra banks made a girl on ANTM do a photoshoot in a graveyard the day after her childhood best friend died
— NIAMH (@angelthott) May 4, 2020
As the clips recirculated, pretty much everyone came to the same conclusion: Tyra Banks was kinda awful.
I’m convinced Tyra Banks treated those girls so badly on ANTM was because she wanted to project her imagined ‘past’ and mistreatment onto them. She’s 100000% a narcissist and a bully.
— ? (@privatelinny) May 5, 2020
Genuinely cannot believe how problematic Tyra Banks used to be. I used to love her and obsessed over Americans Next Top Model but now I’m looking back like pic.twitter.com/d9lAIBqRwZ
— Critical Optimist (@Nasimsalad) May 5, 2020
Tyra banks: shave your head
Tyra banks 5 minutes later: yeah so actually you’re going home
— shojo whore (@demojaaa) May 4, 2020
Tyra Banks being… problematic asf. ?????
A Thread pic.twitter.com/Q023ttjyTJ
— ??????? ??????? ??????? ?? (@QveenKuntaa) May 6, 2020
I just feel like Tyra Banks was a bully on ANTM?
— A N A (@Analyysiaaa) May 4, 2020
Eventually, the 46-year-old was forced to issue a statement about her past treatment of aspiring models and how she denigrated those who looked up to her.
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” she told her 14.4 million followers on Twitter. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”
Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs. ??
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) May 9, 2020
Ken Mok, one of the show’s producers, replied to Banks’ tweet, adding: “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.”
Want to reiterate what @tyrabanks said. 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. https://t.co/OzoqqXrDoU
— Ken Mok (@kenmok) May 9, 2020
Meanwhile, Danielle Evans, who was told to fix the gap in her teeth all those years ago, put out her own statement.
In a video posted to Instagram, she said she wanted to “take this time to build up and to speak to all of my young queens that saw that episode that were truly affected by Tyra’s words.”
“You’re beautiful, and I’m not talking about a physical feature,” Evans said. “It doesn’t matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, straight teeth, it matters not. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, brown, white, indifferent, other, it doesn’t matter. What makes you beautiful is in here.”
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This video isn’t made for unsolicited advice, words, or paragraphs on how YOU would have handled the situation. I’m speaking MY truth aside from anyone’s opinions, beliefs, or input. I chose to use my own platform to speak so I have full control over my narrative. Watch until the very end to understand the purpose as to why I took time to even address the matter. ?