Tyra Banks is not just the newest host of ABC’s Dancing With the Stars, she’s also the executive producer of the popular reality show. Now Banks is responding to backlash she has received after she landed the gig. Haters claimed that Banks only landed the gig because she’s a Black woman and ABC wanted her as a face of diversity due to the country’s current state of civil unrest.
In an interview with Glamour, the 46-year-old said, “It actually hurts my feelings a bit that people think that I was hired because I’m a Black woman. [The show] reached out to me many, many months ago before any of the [racial] unrest happened.”
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She continued. “And it was something that I had to think about for a while because I knew that there’s a lot of responsibility coming into an institution. Tom Bergeron is a genius host, a comedic host. I had to make sure that I could bring something new, [while] respecting what he’s already done. And that I could really bring my audience to the show.”
Tom Bergeron hosted the show from 2005 to this year.
The idea that Banks was only hired because she is Black is ludicrous. She is a two-time Emmy winner for the early 2000s talk show The Tyra Banks Show and America’s Next Top Model is one of the most successful reality competition shows on television.
When the news was announced in July, Karey Burke, president of ABC Entertainment, said in an official DWTS statement, “Tyra is an award-winning multihyphenate whose fierce female prowess and influence across many industries have made an indelible mark. Her fresh take on America’s favorite dancing competition will surely bring more than a ‘Smize’ to fans everywhere.”
Banks also spoke about the impact the recent social unrest has had on her and her family explaining that she never thought she would see the world “get behind the plight of Black people” the way it has. “It brings tears to my eyes to see this happening.”
Tyra Banks is the first Black woman host in the show’s history.
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