Tyra Banks Reacts To Old ‘ANTM’ Clip Of Her Criticizing Dani Evans’ Gap
Update #2 (May 9): Tyra Banks has broken her silence after a vintage clip of her slamming “America’s Next Top Model” contestant Dani Evans’s gap. Tyra Banks seemed to agree with the backlash that she was too harsh and tweeted on Friday (May 8),
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you. Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”
Original Story: It’s only been a few days since a 2006 clip of “America’s Next Top Model” resurfaced on social media. In the footage, Tyra Banks is seen taunting Cycle 6 contestant and future winner, Danielle Evans, about the gap between her teeth. Now, Danielle Evans has responded to the controversial clip.
Whilst there’s been a lot of talk about Tyra’s tyranny on ANTM in recent years, there was absolutely a specific type of regulation, silencing and policing that was directed towards Black women on the show, and dark skinned Black women in particular. https://t.co/oXvM6FYAvW
— jade bentil (@divanificent) May 5, 2020
She has posted a video on Instagram with the caption,
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. Watch until the very end to understand the purpose as to why I took time to even address the matter.”
In the clip, Danielle Evans actually said she had no plans on speaking out until her fellow model Slick Woods, who also has a gap, reached out to her.
“I appreciate all of the news outlets that reached out to see if I wanted to comment. I honestly didn’t feel it [was] necessary until late last night when I received a message from Slick Woods… I knew in that moment, after reading her words that I have a responsibility to address what really happened and to speak my truth.”
“This is not a video to discuss my relationship with Tyra.”
Instead, she said the point of the clip was to share her truth and clear up the issue that dates back to 15 years. She reminded fans that her gap wasn’t the only issue she faced. The Little Rock, Arkansas native pointed out that her down south dialect and diction also didn’t sit well with the judges. As for what happened in the episode concerning her gap, she explained:
“We were all going to the dentist as a whole: me and Joanie went first. We get to the dentist and the guy asked me ‘Do you want to get anything done to your teeth?’ I said ‘Yes, clean me up, whiten my teeth.’ He repeatedly asked me if I wanted to close my gap. ‘No I don’t want to close my gap.’ Push pin, none of this aired on TV I’m giving you guys the behind, behind the scenes. He kept asking me if I wanted to close my gap. ‘No bruh. Super cool, I’m super secure with my gap.’ Of course like any other kid I’d be lying if I said I grew up loving my long neck, my jaw bone and my gap. I did not. I hated it all I used to cry and ask my mother for braces. We couldn’t afford braces. What did my mother say to me? She reminded me that my two grandmothers who I absolutely adored had gaps, they’re queens you’re just like your grandmothers. You know what? I learned to accept my gap so on Top Model when they wanted to close it, I said nah fam, I’m good.”
She then addresses the viral elimination scene, Dani says,
“I go forward, Tyra’s like ‘Why didn’t you get your gap closed?’ I’m like huh? She says ‘I told you to get your gap closed.’ I’m like no you didn’t. She looks off camera right to production, which none of you guys never see. I look off stage at the camera right to production Kim Mock gives me one of these [shrugs]. In that moment I knew that I was basically being set up, not being told that Tyra wanted me to get my gap closed so that its good for TV. So in that moment, the 19, 20-year-old Danielle stood there realizing it was my one way ticket out on this side, or keeping my gap on this side and going back to Little Rock, Arkansas. What do you think I’m gonna choose fam? So Tyra says to me, ‘If I send you back to the dentist, will you get your gap closed?’ And I meet her with another question ‘So what you’re saying to me is if I tell you no, then you’re gonna send me home tonight?'”
She said she and Tyra Banks went back and forth multiple times, but what actually aired is Danielle compromising and saying that she doesn’t mind if her gap is closed a little, just not all the way.
“I was not going to allow something that’s physical on my face to stop me from getting out and making something better of myself…It wasn’t about copping out. It was about understanding what really carries weight, holds value in my life, and teeth was not one of them.”
She said she actually didn’t mind Tyra Banks and co-judge Miss Jay’s comments about her gap in the moment. But now that she’s realized that other girls saw that, she feels like she needs to speak up.
Dani ended with giving an inspirational message to the young girls that were discouraged about what Tyra Banks said about Dani’s appearance:
“You’re beautiful. And I’m not talking about the physical features. It doesn’t matter if you have a gap, stacked teeth, straight teeth, it matters not. Doesn’t matter if you’re black, brown, white, indifferent, other. It doesn’t matter. What makes you beautiful is in here. It’s a matter of your self worth, high self worth or low self worth. And no one can establish that except you. So I’m speaking to all of the little girls, if I could love on you right now I would. I want to remind you of your worth. You are a masterpiece. You are so loved you are so adored. You are beautiful. And its not because someone higher up says that you’re beautiful. You don’t become a start because someone acknowledges your light, you are light, you are worth, you are valued, you are loved. Always stand in your truth and power. Don’t let anyone ever tell you you’re not. If you have a goal go for it. Bulldozer anybody and everybody that’s standing in your way that is in opposition of you. Love you guys.”
What are your thoughts about what Danielle Evans said in response to the clip from ANTM going viral? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.