The fine folks on Twitter are going in on modeling icon Tyra Banks over her treatment of Black America’s Next Top Model contestants during her time as host and judge of the show.
According to Indy 100, it all started when an old clip of the show surfaced showing Banks revealing to contestant Joslyn Pennywell whether or not she had “survived” to go to the next round of competition.
“You have such a beautiful strength, and for someone to get up and be so sick, and still to perform? That’s a survivor,” Banks told Pennywell, who Indy 100 noted had “been violently sick while at the CoverGirl commercial task.”
“And Joslyn, you’ll be able to survive this,” Banks continued, making it appear as if Pennywell would be going to the next round—that is before Banks siked her out and turned to another contestant who had actually won.
Pennywell broke down in tears thinking she made it to the next round only to find she had fallen for the cruelest pump fake ever and had actually been eliminated.
Yeah, Tyra ain’t have to do her like that. First of all, it’s already not a good look to have a young girl putting her health at risk in order to compete. But to use Pennywell’s sickness to crush her dreams? That ain’t it, Tyra—that ain’t it at all.
This isn’t the first time Banks has been called out for being the Dolores Umbridge of ANTM. In fact, it seems that every few months another clip surfaces that shows Banks being the ultimate mean girl when dealing with contestants, among other problematic things.
Listen: Maybe Tyra was just trying to prepare these young women for the cutthroat world of modeling—but damn. There’s got to be a better way to do it than to tear them down like this.
One can only wonder what Banks thinks after seeing people’s reactions to her methods.