Tyra Banks is being asked to explain her problematic America’s Next Top Model behaviour
Tyra Banks is feeling the heat this week after a resurfaced clip from America’s Next Top Model showed her criticising a contestant’s tooth gap.
In the footage from the show’s sixth season, which aired in 2006, Tyra is seen telling contestant Danielle Evans that she’d struggle to find work with the gap between her front teeth.
“So Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed,” Banks told Evans.”Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?”
“Yes, why not?” Evans responds.
“This is all people see…” the host said while sticking her finger on her front teeth. “It’s not marketable.”
Danielle went on to win that season of America’s Next Top Model after partially closing the tooth gap on Tyra’s advice.
The exchange certainly didn’t age well and has now come back to haunt her as viewers question why Tyra was pushing the model to conform to standard beauty norms.
Slick Woods says watching Tyra Banks ‘f**ked’ her up’
Fenty Beauty model Slick Woods, whose unique money-making feature is her tooth gap, has publicly called out Tyra for the uncomfortable scene.
She first criticised Banks’ comments during a 2018 interview with Fashionista, and again mentioned it on social media this week.
“No one should ever talk to you like that @danievans1, that episode f**ked up little simone/slick so that’s how y’all feel @tyrabanks @miss_jalexander???” she wrote in an Instagram post alongside the clip.
American’s Next Top Model star reveals what really went down.
After reading Woods’ post, Danielle Evans came forward to offer her side of the story, saying she felt she had “a responsibility to address what really happened and to speak my truth”.
In a video uploaded to Instagram, she explained that all the contestants were sent to the dentist in small groups, and she was “set up” to have the tooth gap closed.
When she arrived she said that she just wanted a cleaning and a whitening but the dentist repeatedly asked if she wanted to close her gap.
Evans declined because she was happy with how her teeth looked, having overcome childhood insecurities over her smile as her family couldn’t afford braces.
“So, I go forward [on the show] and Tyra’s like, ‘Why didn’t you get your gap closed?’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ She like, ‘I told you to get your gap closed.’ I’m like, ‘No you didn’t,'” Evans recalled.
“In that moment, I knew what was happening. I knew that I was basically set up.”
ANTM winner Danielle Evans says partially closing her gap was a compromise.
Evans suggested she was made to believe that her position on the show was at risk if she didn’t get the procedure done.
“What you think I’mma choose, fam?” she said. She remembers asking Tyra the question: “So, what you’re saying is, if I tell you no, you’re gonna send me home tonight?”
They reportedly went back and forth over the issue before reaching a compromise — Evans would partially close the gap.
Tyra responded to the controversy surrounding the resurfaced clip on May 9.
In a tweet, she said: “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.”
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
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You can watch Evans statement in full below.
View this post on Instagram
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. 🤍