Tyra Banks responds to America's Next Top Model 'teeth gap' criticism after viral tweet

May 12, 2020

Tyra Banks has addressed criticism of America's Next Top Model after an old clip from the series went viral online, saying she agrees some moments were insensitive.

The 46-year-old former supermodel created and hosted the hit reality TV show, which launched in 2003 and saw contestants competing to win a modelling contract.

Each series included a makeover episode, in which the aspiring models were told to change their appearance - sometimes quite drastically.

A clip resurfaced online earlier this month, showing eventual season six winner Dani Evans being told by Banks and other judges to close a gap in her front teeth because it was "not marketable".

Banks responded to the clip in a tweet, saying she had seen "the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you".

She continued: "Looking back, those were some really off choices."

Evans herself also addressed the clip in a video posted on Instagram, saying she was responding not to "defame anyone's character" or discuss Banks, but to "address an issue that was done 15 years ago that carries weight and that clearly affected a lot of young girls in America after watching it".

The model said when she visited the dentist for the show, she asked for her teeth to be whitened and cleaned but did not want to close the gap, despite hating it when she was younger.

She said she had learned to "accept and love" the gap because her grandmothers both had gaps in their teeth.

However, she said she agreed to compromise and partially close the gap because "I was not going to allow something that is physical on my face to stop me from getting out to make a better life for myself".

Evans said the show was her ticket out of her hometown of Little Rock, Arkansas, and that she was addressing the issue now to tell her followers: "You don't become a star because someone acknowledges your light. You are light."

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Television producer Ken Mok, who developed the series, also responded to the viral clip and defended Banks, saying decisions were made by lots of people involved in the show.

He said some of the moments from the show made him "cringe", and added: "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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