Jay Manuel is finally speaking on his relationship with Tyra Banks and revealed in a recent interview that the former model turned TV titan was not pleased with his decision to leave her popular reality competition, America’s Next Top Model.
The creative director, makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur explained how his friendship with the model soured after he voiced he wanted to leave the show to pursue other opportunities.
“[I said to her] very genuinely, ‘I feel like I’ve given all I can to the show and I’m gonna work on other things,’” Manuel said on E! news podcast Just the Sip. “Tyra’s a businesswoman and I thought for sure she’d understand. I thought I was being very lovely and respectful…she just had two words for me: I’m disappointed. And that was it. That was the end of the discussion.”
Manuel, who’s out with a new book inspired by spending 18 seasons on ANTM, The Wig, the Bitch and the Meltdown, said the only conversations that followed between him and Banks occurred on camera. Manuel completed the terms of his contract and walked away from the international hit series.
The creative director added that Banks’s actions on the show represented an “abuse of power” and were “emotionally manipulative.”
He added that Banks later issued an apology to him for her actions years later, but said their relationship “never recovered” from the split.
Manuel’s revelations come after America’s Next Top Model has come under fire after critics shared short videos on social media, which quickly went viral, to point out instances of Banks exhibiting seemingly problematic behavior, such as admonishing one contestant to close her gap and allowing another to do blackface.
Back in May, Banks addressed the controversy, writing that she agreed with many critics.
“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 I am sending so much love and virtual hugs.”