Tyra Banks is being slammed yet again for alleged unfair practices going on behind the scenes of America’s Next Top Model. On Nov. 30, a Twitter user claimed that ANTM contestants were only paid $40 a day while competing on the show and it was confirmed by season nine contestant Sarah Hartshorne.
“The fact that girls on ANTM were getting paid $40 an episode and Tyra and them judges were making BANK, is kinda sick,” they tweeted.
Hartshorne replied saying that besides having such low income while on the show, nothing besides housing and modeling opportunities was provided for them.
“$40 a day, no residuals, and we had to pay for food,” Hartshorne tweeted.
Hartshorne told The New York Post that contestants also didn’t know much about day-to-day assignments and activities beforehand and couldn’t speak to their families while filming unless they signed a non-disclosure agreement.
“Production had us sign hundreds of contracts, including non-disclosure agreements,” she said. “And anyone that we wanted to talk to on the phone outside of the show had to sign the NDA, too. My grandpa didn’t want to sign it, so I couldn’t speak to him for the weeks we were shooting.”
She added, “Production kept us in the dark about almost everything because they wanted to keep us on edge. Us being confused, tired, stressed, sleep-deprived and hungry just made for better TV. We never knew where we were going at any given time. They would transport us from place to place in a windowless van and we’d have to face every situation totally clueless and out of sorts.”
Throughout the past few years, clips from the show have re-emerged, leading to Banks being blasted for being problematic. After a clip of Danielle Evans being told she wouldn’t get any major modeling contracts because of her gap in her teeth, Banks was forced to come forward and address the criticism.
On The Tamron Hall Show, Banks said she should’ve pushed back more when she was pressured behind the scenes by modeling agents to change contestants’ features.
“I had model agents here saying, ‘These three girls could really, really work, but this must change,’ so there was a whole behind-the-scenes thing happening,” the Dancing With the Stars host said. “Instead of me saying, ‘You must change this,’ on TV, I think what I should have said is, ‘You’re beautiful.’”
Banks also issued a statement via Twitter agreeing that she went too far at times.
“Been seeing the posts about the insensitivity of some past ANTM moments and I agree with you,” she posted. “Looking back, those were some really off choices. Appreciate your honest feedback and am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”