Jay Manuel reveals ‘ANTM’ gave him PTSD, ended friendship with Tyra Banks

Jay Manuel claims that Tyra Banks ignored him after he decided to leave 'ANTM'

NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 05: Jay Manuel attends Harlem Fashion Row at One World Trade Center on September 05, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Pont/Getty Images for BET)

America’s Next Top Model creative director Jay Manuel recently stunned fans when he revealed details about how certain moments in his tenure on the show caused him PTSD. It also forever compromised his friendship with show creator Tyra Banks.

Last Wednesday, in an episode of the E! news podcast Just the Sip, Manuel first addressed fans who’ve always wondered about his ethnicity. Despite speculations, he clarified that he is not Latino. He is in fact from South Africa and biracial – with one Black parent and a white one.

"Cats" World Premiere
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – DECEMBER 16: Jay Manuel attends the world premiere of “Cats” at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on December 16, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images)

Read More: Tyra Banks called out on Twitter over resurfaced ‘Top Model’ clips

The makeup artist and beauty entrepreneur who became a fan favorite on ANTM was then incredibly candid as he talked about the cold shoulder he received from Banks when she found out he wouldn’t be renewing his contract.

“[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 explained to host Justin Sylvester.

“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 said he did his best to be vocal onset during problematic segments where his team was asked to make models do things like “swap races,” noting that, “On Top Model, there was a bit of this fear culture, so I kind of had to go along with it.”

But even when he tried to appease Banks by coming back for one more season after he quit, he says the model was icy and hostile towards him. She refused to acknowledge he was in the room unless the cameras were rolling.

“The first time I see her is walking on to set, you know the panel we do in casting, and I just said, ‘Hey, I’m so glad you’re here early’” he recalled going on to mimick the way she, “walked right by, did not talk to me.”

He at first hoped she’d just not noticed him. However, after weeks of being ignored, he said he realized the snub from his once close-friend was very intentional.

READ MORE: Viola Davis responds to viral request to join ‘WAP’ video

Tyra Banks thegrio.com
(Photo by Ian Tuttle/Getty Images for Breakthrough Prize )

To her credit, he said Banks eventually owned up to her bad behavior and apologized.

“I got a message to come see her in her hotel room, and to be fair, she apologized. And said, ‘I wasn’t being professional. I am an executive producer, you are talent here, I should have been more professional.’”

He claimed “things did get better,” but the beauty guru admits their friendship “never really recovered.”

Manuel also admitted that his new book The Wig, the Bitch and the Meltdown was inspired by the 18 seasons he spent on ANTM.

Have you subscribed to theGrio’s podcast “Dear Culture”? Download our newest episodes now!

Loading the player...

Share