Tyra Banks has taken to social media to apologize for comments she made in a past episode of “America’s Next Top Model” that has resurfaced on social media in the past weeks.
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” she wrote on Twitter. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs."
Some of the controversial clips made their way around Twitter and Instagram last week, but the one that received the harshest feedback involved Danielle Evans, the cycle 6 winner of the long-running show.
“So Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed,” Banks said in the 2006 clip that was shared on Instagram by model Slick Woods. “Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth.”
When Evans answered, “Yes, why not?” Banks chimed in again.
“This is all people see,” said Banks, pointing to her two front teeth. “It’s easy, breezy, beautiful, CoverGirl. It’s not marketable.”
Evans replied to Banks, saying she would close her gap “a little bit” but did not want it completely closed.
“Well, I guess she just left the ‘gap’ wide open for another girl,” J. "Miss J” Alexander added.
The 34-year-old model made her own response to the resurfaced clips, sharing a 7-minute video on her Instagram the day after Woods shared the controversial moment.
“My truth,” she captioned the video. “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."
In the video, Evans weighed in on the situation and addressed what happened in that moment on the show and provide clarity.
She walked through the behind-the-scenes moment of her time at the dentist and how she chose not to have her gap closed because she “accepted and loved” her gap. Evans described the moment when Banks confronted her about her gap, realizing that she was “being set up” for good TV. She added the moment in the clip was filmed “about two or three times.”
“I wasn’t tight because of Tyra’s comment about me not being able to model with the gap,” she explained. “I wasn’t tight about Miss J’s comment about leaving a gap wide open for the next girl. All of that was trivial to me. I’ve heard it all before. What I was tight about was them trying to play me and making good for TV.”
Evans explained that she wanted to use her time during quarantine to address any young girls who were affected by the clip to end her response to the resurfaced television moment.
“I’m going to take this time to build up and speak to all of my young queens that saw that episode that were truly affected by Tyra’s words,” she said. “I want to speak to you right now. You’re beautiful, and I’m not talking about a physical feature. It doesn’t matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, straight teeth. It doesn’t matter if you’re black, brown, white, other. What makes you beautiful is in here.
"It’s a matter of your self-worth, a high self-worth, a low self-worth. And no one can establish that except you.”