Tyra Banks has long been a fixture in unscripted programming, with her hit show America’s Next Top Model launching the careers of many people over the years, both in the US and abroad with its spinoffs. Though she oversaw the series’ success, both the show and her as host were not above being called out and it’s happening again on her new gig.
While no one would expect a show from almost 20 years ago to be exactly on point, people have taken this time to highlight some truly problematic issues her previous show perpetrated.
The clip in question that resurfaced featured one of the contestants, season 6’s Danielle Evans, who was being pressured by Tyra to close a gap in her teeth by having dental surgery – in order for her to get a CoverGirl contract. It is a bit disconcerting to watch in 2020, with Tyra and the judges even seemingly mocking Evans and her gap.
Why was this allowed to air wtf Tyra banks is going to straight hell pic.twitter.com/xtiWl3srKJ— Aisonycé📍 (@OladapoAisha) May 5, 2020
“Do you really think you can have a Cover Girl contract with a gap in your mouth?” asks Tyra. Evans responds with, “Yes, why not?” with a smile, fully unaware of what was about to happen. Banks then proceeds to mock Evans, pointing to her own teeth and affecting a lisp to mimic Evans. “This is all people see. It’s easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl.” She then finishes with, “it’s not marketable.”
Evans responds, “Just a little bit is okay, but I don’t wanna completely close it.” Another judge, Miss Jay, then finishes the shade with “Well, I guess she just left the “gap” wide open for another girl, baby.” Tyra chimes in last with, “I agree.” What makes this exchange especially jarring is that nine ANTM cycles later when Chelsey Hersley—a white contestant who appeared on the show in 2010—was advised to undergo dental surgery to widen (that’s right, widen) her small gap to give her a more edgy and unique look.
Fast forward to 2020 and now, Tyra’s under fire for her hosting skills. After the original hosts, Tom Bergeron and Emily Andrews were released, Dancing with the Stars added Banks as the host, replacing the two roles with one person. She also came onboard as an executive producer, which is a considerable feat since the show is in its 29th season.
It’s that EP role that might be saving her from being fired, as fans have increasingly complained since the start of the season that Tyra’s making the show about her – and not about the dancers and judges, whose professional acumen is unmatched. Now, fans are calling her “thirsty” for her insistence upon being at the forefront and for name dropping at the same time.
The theme of the Nov. 9th episode was “Icons,” and during the show when contestants were naming their musical icons then performing a dance to one of their songs. Fans were turned off because Banks kept talking about all of the icons like she was best friends with all of them. She also said she’d been tweeting the icons she knew to give them a heads up before mentioning Britney Spears watching – who is in the battle over her conservatorship, which she just lost.
It echoed a previous comment from fans, more of which can be found under the “#DumpTyra” hashtag on Twitter.
Soooo over Tyra hijacking DWTS to try to have a talk show! Those inane questions trying to elict tears and emotion from the dancers! Bring back the professionalism and class of Erin and Tom! Tyra needs to go!!#DumpTyra— Jan Poynter (@Naj29148) October 20, 2020
“Why would you have @tyrabanks as the host? She’s AWFUL and REPULSIVE. She takes away time from the judges so she can put her 2 cents in. She’s so thirsty for the spotlight. She wants to make everything about her. PLEASE REPLACE HER!!!!!!”