Tyra Banks admits her past ‘America’s Next Top Model’ behaviour was ‘off’, insensitive

'America's Next Top Model' creator and host Tyra Banks appears at Carriageworks on Dec. 5, 2014 in Sydney, Australia. Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

Tyra Banks has broken her silence and addressed the America’s Next Top Model (ANTM) clips that resurfaced of her last week and sparked controversy on social media.

“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” Banks tweeted Friday. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”

One of the major videos that sparked backlash against Banks on Twitter last week was from Season 6 of the aspiring model competition show.

Banks told ANTM contestant Dani Evans that she would never be a model unless she fixes the gap in her teeth.

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“So Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed. Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?” Tyra said in the 2006 episode.

“Yes, why not?” Evans responded.

“This is all people see. It’s easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl,” Banks said while imitating that she has a gap in her teeth with her finger. “It’s not marketable.”

Evans, who ended up winning the season, posted a video on Instagram and explained that the now-viral moment was played up for TV in 2006.

Evans said she wasn’t going to speak on the moment until model Slick Woods reached out to her.

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“I honestly didn’t feel it was necessary until late last night when I received a message from Slick Woods,” Evans said. “I knew in that moment after reading her words that I have a responsibility to address what really happened and to speak my truth.”

She explained that the producers had never told her that Banks wanted her to get her gap closed.

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“She (Tyra) looks off camera to production, which none of you guys ever see. I look off stage, camera, right to production. Ken Mok gives me one of these (shrugs shoulders),” Evans said. “In that moment I knew what was happening. I knew that I was basically set up and not being told that Tyra wants me to get my gap closed so that it’s good for TV.”

Evans also revealed that they filmed the conversation multiple times to get it right for TV.

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Fenty model Slick Woods, who also has a gap between her front teeth, posted the viral clip to Instagram and wrote, “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???” Slick Woods added.

Slick Woods/Instagram.

Another moment that shocked viewers was from Season 4 when Banks eliminated two models and she yelled at Tiffany Richardson for not showing the same upset emotion that Rebecca Epley did.

After Banks announced that both models were eliminated from the competition, Richardson tried to cheer up the other crying models by hugging them and making jokes.

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“Can you guys stand in front of me? I just want to say one more thing to you,” Banks said. “Rebecca, I admire your emotion right now. It shows to me that this was something that is very important to you.”

“Tiffany, I’m extremely disappointed in you. This is a joke to you,” Banks continued. “You’ve been through anger management, you’ve been through your grandmother getting her lights turned off to buy you a swimsuit for this competition and you go over there and you joke and you laugh?

“This is serious to these girls, and it should be serious to you,” Banks added.

“Looks can be deceiving. I’m hurt. I am,” Richardson told Banks. “But I can’t change it Tyra. I’m sick of crying about stuff that I cannot change. I’m sick of being disappointed. I’m sick of all of it.”

As the pair argued back and forth, Banks became irritated and yelled: “Do you know that you had a possibility to win? Do you know that all of America is rooting for you?”

The argument continued and Banks yelled: “Stop it! I have never in my life yelled at a girl like this. When my mother yells like this it’s because she loves me.

“I was rooting for you! We were all rooting for you!” Banks says, reciting the memorable line from the series that has turned into a meme.

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Tyra Banks admits her past ‘America’s Next Top Model’ behaviour was ‘off’, insensitive - image

ANTM producer Ken Mok issued an apology on Twitter after Banks addressed the criticism from the viral clips.

“Want to reiterate what @tyrabanks said. I look at some of those #ANTM moments and cringe,” Mok tweeted. “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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Banks created ANTM in 2003 and hosted the show for every season, which they referred to as cycles, from Season 1-22. She took a break from Season 23 as Rita Ora hosted but returned to host Season 24 in 2018.

It is currently unclear if ANTM will have a 25th season.

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