Tyra Banks has responded to the viral criticism over old clips of her show, America's Next Top Model.
During an interview with Entertainment Tonight, the 46-year-old television host and model addressed the controversy surrounding some events that happened during her time as host and producer of America's Next Top Model. She specifically addressed the concerns brought up on social media of pressuring models to have cosmetic surgery and promoting blackface, among other instances that social media followers flagged as concerning.
Tyra spoke with ET's Kevin Frazier for an "exclusive conversation" and it began with Tyra addressing some of the comments and decisions she made during her time as host on the competition show.
During the interview, Kevin first played some old clips of the show to Tyra, who was being interviewed via webcam due to the coronavirus pandemic. Tyra appeared comfortable addressing the concerns wearing an oversized hunter green hat on her head. Her hair was long and in wavy curls, landing just past her shoulders. Tyra was wearing light makeup, mostly outlining her eyes, and her lips were bare.
The conversation started specifically about the photo shoot that required the models to get into blackface during an episode that aired in 2009. A clip then played of the episode where she assigned the competing models different ethnicities for a shoot to give Tyra, and the viewers, context.Once the clip ended, she told Kevin that she had already spoken about this incident, apologizing years before. Tyra mentioned that she felt uncomfortable watching it back, even at the time, however she said her intentions behind the photo shoot was to highlight the different beauty in skin colors.
Tyra mentioned that when she saw the clip air back, she was concerned that it would be an excuse for other people who want to use blackface for "negative" reasons. She then clarified that her apology years before was done on her talk show, The Tyra Banks Show, which aired for five seasons between 2005 and 2010.
"There's a whole generation of people who didn't grow up with my show, and didn't see that," Tyra said, referencing the apology she made in a segment on her talk show.
Kevin then brought up another episode that recently went viral, where Tyra addresses the gap in the teeth of one model, Dani Evans, urging her to make the "gap" disappear so she could land a modeling contract.
"When I look back at that episode I cringe. And I cringe through the eyes of today," Tyra confessed.
Fans and critics took to the comments section of the YouTube video to share their feelings on Tyra's apology.
"This may be an unpopular opinion but I actually think that she handles criticism exceptionally well & it's refreshing to see somebody under fire taking accountability these days. I would low-key be cracking," one person wrote.
"But the fashion industry has been this way for years if not worse then portrayed on Americas next top model. that will never change. in a way she exposed the fashion industry itself, which may be we should thank her for," another said.
"What I'm not seeing the apologies, I'm confused..." a third commenter wrote.
As previously reported, this is the second time that Tyra has addressed the concerns raised on social media regarding some past actions on America's Next Top Model, first via her Twitter page on May 8.