Tyra Banks Responds To Backlash From America’s Next Top Model Clips
Tyra Banks has responded to backlash after controversial old clips taken from America’s Next Top Model started to do the rounds online.
Banks came under fire last week as Twitter users began to share shocking scenes from the reality TV show, which premiered in 2003 and ran for 24 seasons.
The show was accused of promoting blackface, fat-shaming and pressuring models to have cosmetic surgery; judges appeared to ask different things of women with different skin colours, and at one point even encouraged a contestant to pose for photos in a grave after she’d received news of her best friend’s death.
Twitter users drew attention to one episode that saw white models painted to represent ‘Africans’, and in which one of the models described herself as a ‘black girl with a nose job’, to which the makeup artist replied: ‘You are! You’re a Jackson.’
In another moment, a judge on the panel told a contestant: ‘You have this intensity to prove your African-ness that I think sometimes is overbearing.’
In a clip shared widely online, the America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) judges berated contestant Danielle Evans, who is black, for refusing to close the gap in her front teeth, telling her she was ‘unmarketable’ and implying she couldn’t have a Cover Girl contract unless she underwent a procedure to close it.
In comparison, in another episode the judges asked contestant Chelsey Hersley, who is white, to widen the gap in her front teeth.
As well as being slammed for the very questionable behaviour on ANTM, Banks came under fire for her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show. One bizarre moment saw the host offering to ‘hook up’ one of her guests with someone, before asking her to choose from three murderers, including serial killer Ted Bundy.
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While some people have defended Banks and ANTM, many have argued that the scenes are still unacceptable.
Banks has acknowledged the old ANTM clips, though didn’t do much in the way of apologising for the controversial, offensive behaviour displayed on the show.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote:
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.
Banks wasn’t specific about which moments she deemed insensitive, and as a result many Twitter users are unsatisfied with her response.
Banks has not provided any further comment on the clips at the time of writing, May 11, though she continues to come under fire from people on Twitter.
The argument that ‘things were different then’ is futile; the offensive and degrading behaviour displayed by the judges should never have been acceptable.
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