After facing online backlash over a resurfaced clip from 2006, Tyra Banks addressed "insensitivity" on America's Next Top Model, in a Friday, May 8 tweet. "Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you," wrote Banks, who created and executive produced the long-running reality series. "Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs."
In the Season 6 ANTM clip that recently went viral on Twitter, Banks confronted contestant Dani Evans about the gap in her front teeth. "So, Danielle, you went to the dentist but you refused to have your gap closed," Banks said in the clip. "Do you really think you can have a CoverGirl contract with a gap in your mouth?"
After Evans replied. "Yes, why not?" the Emmy-winning TV host pointed to her own teeth, responding: "This is all people see. It's easy, breezy, beautiful CoverGirl. It's not marketable." Banks' fellow coach, Miss J. Alexander nodded his head and scoffed, "Well, I guess she just left the gap wide open for another girl, baby."
Evans did partially close her gap before she was eventually crowned the season's winner. Among other prizes, she scored a $100,000 contract with CoverGirl, which the cosmetics company renewed multiple times.
For her part, Evans responded to the controversy in a seven-minute video she posted to Instagram on May 6. The model explained that she auditioned for ANTM to get out of Arkansas and recalled she felt she was "basically set up" after "not being told Tyra wants me to get my gap closed" by a producer. "In that moment the 19-, 20-year-old Danielle stood there realizing that it was my one-way ticket out on this side or keeping my gap on this side and going back to Little Rock, Arkansas," she said. "What you think I'm gonna choose, fam?"
Even so, Evans said she has no regrets. "I was not going to allow something that was physical on my face to stop me from getting out to make a better life for myself," she added. "I had a laser focus goal. Nothing or no one was going to stand in my way. It wasn't about copping out. It was about understanding what holds weight and value in my life and teeth was not one of them."
Evans concluded her response with a special message to "all the young queens" who might have been affected by seeing Banks' past comments from ANTM: "I want to remind you of your worth. You are so loved, you are so adored, and you're beautiful."