Tyra Banks Ripped By Former 'America's Next Top Model' Contestant Who Claims Models Got Paid Just $40 A Day & Had To Buy Their Own Food
Tyra Banks is once again being put on blast over the way she and her fellow producers allegedly treated the contestants of her long-running reality television show, America's Next Top Model.
The competition series – which pinned dozens of often young and vulnerable women against each other for the chance of becoming the next big thing in fashion – has often been called out by past judges and contestants alike for allegedly unfair treatment, cruel practices and an overall toxic environment.
Years and even decades later, many say they are still dealing with the emotional trauma of it all.
The latest ANTM alum to come forward with claims is Sarah Hartshorne, a since-retired plus-size model who competed in Cycle 9 of the show.
The now-comedian recently took to Twitter to respond to a fan who posted, "The fact that girls on ANTM were getting paid $40 an episode and Tyra and them judges were making BANK, is kinda sick."
When tagged and asked, "@sarahhartshorne this for real???" Hartshorne replied, "$40 a day, no residuals, and we had to pay for food."
Stunned by the response to her claim, she urged her followers to check out her TikTok account for more information.
As one Twitter user remarked, "At this point there should be a 'Surviving ANTM' series."
Last month, Hartshorne detailed the nondisclosure agreement she and her competitors had to sign in order to be featured on the show.
She claimed that "partway through filming the first episode, they marched all the girls into this conference room that was full of a team of lawyers and all the producers, and they sat us down. ... And we were all sitting on the ground looking up at them like kindergarteners waiting for a snack. And they told us that the contract we'd signed a few weeks ago meant that if we talked about anything that had happened or was going to happen, we would be sued for $10 million."
"And I remember that number so specifically because one girl raised her hand and said, 'What if we don't have $10 million? Because, point of fact, I do not have $10 million,'" Hartshorne went on. "And the executive producer said, 'We know that. We won't just sue you; we'll sue your whole family, we'll sue your parents or guardians, your grandparents, your kids, your future kids, your future children's children's children's children. We will keep suing you until we get that money.'"
She said she felt that "even though they had complete control over our lives at the time, they wanted to make their power seem larger than life, and it absolutely worked. They seemed like the dang illuminati to me at the time."
Fellow ANTM alum and vocal critic of both the show and Banks, Lisa D'Amato, has made the same claim. She revealed earlier this year that she risked being sued for breach of contract by opening up about her experience on the show in an episode of E! True Hollywood Story several years back.
"I felt like it was my duty to warn other girls that were going to audition for America's Next Top Model to know that what you guys do and the way that you guys would poke me and use my childhood trauma against me, day in and day out," D'Amato explained through tears in a subsequent Instagram video. "It was just so f--ked up, and it broke my heart. Like, how could you do that?"
The clip featured text that read, "Sexual abuse, Physical abuse, Mental abuse," as the Cycle 5 contestant-turned-Cycle 17: All Stars winner spoke directly to Banks, wondering, "I don't know how you sleep at night."
D'Amato and Hartshorne join the many women who have come forward about their negative experiences on ANTM. Jeana Turner, for her part, claimed contestants weren't allowed to eat or leave their rooms without permission – an allegation backed by Hartshrone. And Angelea Preston once said that "there are times when we didn't get fed. We had to film straight through, 15, 18 hours without eating."
Banks has also been criticized by fans and viewers of the show for things like a "biracial photo shoot" that put contestants in blackface, forcing a model to fix the gap in her teeth and making another do a graveyard shoot after the death of a friend.