Saturday, October 1, 2022

Model Dani Evans Responds To Tyra Banks Criticism Over Resurfaced ‘ANTM’ Clip

Tyra+Banks
Tyra Banks attends the 2019 American Music Awards at Microsoft Theater on November 24, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
(Nov. 23, 2019 – Source: Getty Images North America)

*Tyra Banks is under fire this week over a resurfaced clip from cycle 6 of “America’s Next Top Model” showing her pressuring contestant Dani Evans to close the gap in between her two front teeth.

We previously reported, Banks condemned Evans for refusing to have dental surgery, asking her “Do you really think you can have a Cover Girl contract with a gap in your mouth?” and then noting that her gap-tooth smile is “not marketable.”

The comments ignited controversy across social media, with many slamming Banks for shaming Evans’ gap, while a white contestant from ANTM cycle 15, Chelsey Hersley, had her gap professionally widened at Banks’ request.

As noted by Complex, Evans said she decided to respond to the controversy only after model Slick Woods, known for her signature tooth gap, reiterated her criticism of Banks in an Instagram post on Tuesday, writing: “No one should ever talk to you like that @danievans1, that episode fucked up little Simone/Slick so that’s how y’all feel @tyrabanks @miss_jalexander?”

Woods previously slammed Banks’ comments during a 2018 interview with Fashionista.

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“I knew in that moment, after reading [Woods’] words, that I have a responsibility to address what really happened and to speak my truth,” said Evans. “But let me tell you what this video is not. This is not a video to war against anyone, this is not a video to defame anyone’s character, and this is not a video to discuss my relationship with Tyra. This is a video for me to speak my truth and to provide clarity and for me to address an issue that was done 15 years ago that carries weight and that clearly affected a lot of young girls in America …”

Evans detailed her journey from Little Rock, Arkansas to ANTM, stating:  “I had one goal in mind. That one goal was to get out of my hometown, to create a different, better life for myself. That was it …” she explained. “I wasn’t even hungry, I was starved to get out. You need to understand that … I had a goal and anyone who stood in my way of getting out of Little Rock was going to get bulldozed over.”

Evans then explained the events that led up to Banks’ comments. She said when all the were sent to the dentist, she told the doctor she just wanted a cleaning and a whitening, but he repeatedly asked if she wanted to close her gap. Evans declined and Tyra called her out about it during the controversial elimination scene.

“So, I go forward and Tyra’s like, ‘Why didn’t you get your gap closed?’ I’m like, ‘Huh?’ She like, ‘I told you to get your gap closed.’ I’m like, ‘No you didn’t'” Evans recalled. ” … In that moment, I knew what was happening. I knew that I was basically set up.”

Evans, who previously stated she was desperate to get out of Little Rock, said she had a tough decision to make.

“What you think I’mma choose, fam?” she continued. “So Tyra says to me, ‘If I send you back to the dentist, will get your gap closed?’ And I meet her with another question: ‘So, what you’re saying is, if I tell you no, you’re gonna send me home tonight?'”

She eventually agreed to partially close the gap.

“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 …” she said. “Nothing or no one was going to stand in my way. And it wasn’t about copping out, it was about understanding what really carries weight and holds value in my life—and teeth wasn’t one of them.”

Evans said she was less offended by Banks’ comments and more annoyed by how she was portrayed in the moment.

“What I was tight about is them trying to play me and making good for TV,” she added. “However, the me now, and reading the comments and understanding the weight that it created in other girls who saw that—this is why this post is being made, because I want to address all of those young girls … So I’mma take this time to build up and to speak to all of my young queens that saw that episode that were truly affected by Tyra’s words … You’re beautiful.”

You can watch Evans’ full video via the Instagram embed below:

Ny MaGee
Ny MaGee is an entertainment reporter with over 15 years of experience working in the film industry in areas including production and post-production, marketing, distribution, and acquisitions. She has worked for legendary film producer Roger Corman, Quentin Tarantino's production team at Miramax, the late Larry Flynt, MTV/ VH1, Hallmark Channel, Paramount, Jim Henson Co., Parade Magazine, and various LA-based companies representing above-the-line talent.

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