Former ANTM Contestant Thinks This Tyra Banks Cancellation Is Ridiculous

To say Tyra Banks has had a rough week would be an understatement. The model and television personality has been under fire due to claims that she did not make an effort to pay the models who participated in the popular "America's Next Top Model" ("ANTM") series. The reality show, which ran from 2003 to 2018, gave models a chance to kickstart their careers in the industry — but they seemingly didn't receive the compensation they deserved.

Sarah Hartshorne, a former plus-size model who was a contestant in "ANTM" Cycle 9, told the New York Post they were only given an allowance to buy themselves food. "We were not paid at all for being on the show," she revealed. "We were given a $38 daily cash stipend that we had to use to pay for our own food. And they didn't even give us a microwave to heat the food up."

"ANTM" was previously blasted for exploiting aspiring models, but this particular revelation was deemed ironic considering how Banks was one of the industry's highest-paid celebrities at the time. In 2009, Forbes reported that she raked in a whopping $30 million for her work on "ANTM" and her daytime talk show.

ANTM Cycle 3 alum Toccara Jones said Tyra Banks should not be canceled

After the "ANTM" models' compensation reveal made rounds on Twitter, it didn't take long for former fans to begin blasting Tyra Banks. "The more I find out about this show the more I realize that it literally was just legalized torture," one user noted. "So the girls that got all their hair chopped off just to be cut the next episode only had bout $80 and trauma to show for it??" said another.

However, "ANTM" Cycle 3 alum Toccara Jones had a different opinion. She said that the models who joined the show had signed up for everything they got, and that the point of being a participant was not to earn some cash. "First of all, we didn't get paid anything, it's a contest. So, there's no payment. When do people pay to be in a contest or get paid to be in a contest? The whole purpose of a contest is to win a prize," Jones told TMZ. "You know what I'm saying, it's for the exposure."

Jones also went on to defend Banks, saying that the host didn't subject the participants to these conditions out of her own volition — she was simply revealing the realities of the industry. "Of course, you cannot cancel Tyra! No! ... Right, like this is the modeling world. She didn't create this; she just showed y'all," Jones continued. "You're gonna get some good and you're gonna get some bad and it comes with the territory. Back to the tough skin."