On America’s Next Top Model, contestants had the chance to be on top. But, trying to do so came at a price — specifically, a measly $40.
Contestants are finally speaking out about their time on the popular competition series, and they’re not holding back about their awful treatment. Sarah Hartshorne, who competed on the series’ ninth cycle in 2007, recently tweeted about her time on the show, shocking many Twitter users with her allegations. She claims that the contestants were paid only $40 a day and had to buy their own food throughout filming.
$40 a day, no residuals, and we had to pay for food. https://t.co/lnclnbj2GZ
— Sarah Hartshorne (@sarahhartshorne) November 30, 2021
Hartshorne also opened up about her experience on TikTok, touching on everything from producers manipulating her to how she was chastised about her weight.
@sarahbhartshorneReply to @emelynnholyoke how we ate on #ANTM. Ask more questions! #PersonalFinance #topmodel #dwts #realitytv #ImAGhost #tea♬ original sound – Sarah Hartshorne
Lisa D’Amato, who competed on the show’s fifth cycle, has also criticized the series and opened up about the trauma she suffered:
@lisa_damatoPart 1 my experience on the Tyra Show. Important Disclaimer ##tyra ##topmodel ##antm ##lisadamato ##thetruth ##realitytv ##tyrashow♬ Stories 2 – Danilo Stankovic
By both their accounts, the grueling photoshoots, challenges and the tear-inducing makeovers were only the tip of the iceberg with the franchise.
Last year, Tyra Banks, the show’s founder and presenter, addressed the backlash after an old clip of her telling contestant Danielle Evans that she’d never be a cover girl unless she closed the gap in her teeth re-surfaced and went viral.
Why was this allowed to air wtf Tyra banks is going to straight hell pic.twitter.com/xtiWl3srKJ
— Aisonycé📍 (@OladapoAisha) May 5, 2020
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” Banks wrote on Twitter. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”
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. ❤️
— Tyra Banks (@tyrabanks) May 9, 2020
But the apology comes years too late. ANTM may have given audiences elaborate photoshoots, Banks fake fainting, the popularization of the term “smize” and the iconic “Be quiet Tiffany!” speech, but the show was incredibly harmful to its contestants and, at times, shockingly problematic. (Remember the episode where contestants did Blackface or the time Banks made them pretend to be homeless?) Needless to say, like many reality shows of the early 2000s, it did not age well.
If history tells us anything, it’s that there will likely be a full-on reckoning if a production company ever decides to dig into the series with a documentary.
If I was Tyra Banks I would live everyday in fear of the inevitable Netflix or HBO documentary of ANTM
— MATERIAL GWORL! (@LOUIS_via_ROMA) November 30, 2021
Hopefully, Banks has a more sincere apology on the way.
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