On Monday night’s episode of America’s Next Top Model, now hosted by “singer” Rita Ora, the models got heated during a discussion about Black Lives Matter. It all started after a runway challenge. Back at the house, Paige, a white contestant, began to talk about BLM. “I wanna know more. I wanna ask questions,” she said. “I wanna be a better person. I wanna take the privilege that I was born into and use it to help people. Like, Black lives do matter. And they matter to me.” Well, if you say so.
Paige asks approximately zero questions, and the whole display feels more like a plea for attention and validation than any actual offer to help. But fellow contestant Giah responds to Paige by saying, “You’re the person that I’ve been trying to prove to my friends that white people are good.”
From there, the conversation segues into a debate about Black American history. “You come from Africa!” says Binta, an African contestant. Giah counters, “We do not know who we are. That’s why we’re African-American.” It’s a conversation with nuances that are probably too much for your standard ANTM editor, so it’s not explored in detail. But it could be: Giah and Binta are getting at something about identity, and it would have been interesting to see them continue to tackle it.
Paige finishes up the scene: “I didn’t instigate it, but I did bring up a hot-button issue, Black Lives Matter,” she said. “It escalated. I’m gonna be flat-out honest and say that Binta scares the [bleep] out of me.” That’s pretty much exactly what you’d guess she would say.
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