Blackface has come to primetime network TV with a controversial photo shoot on “America’s Next Top Model.”
Blackface has been cropping up everywhere lately, whether it be on “Mad Men,” an Australian variety show, Frenh Vogue, or even a joke on Fox’s “The Cleveland Show.” Nearly every one of those evoked outrage in the Black community, but the latest instance has come from Tyra Banks.
Last night on “America’s Next Top Model,” Tyra took the remaining mini models out to Maui where she turned them into biracial models, and she shot all the photos for this challenge. The girls tackled looks ranging from Tibetan-Egyptian to Botswanan-Polynesian, but to portray any of those ethnic mash-ups, most of them had to slather on makeup to make their skin appear darker. The only contestant not coated in paint was Sundai (seen above), the one remaining Black model on “ANTM.”
This isn’t the first time that Tyra has had her models change up their ethnicities, though. She did something very similar back in Cycle 4 when that season’s contestants shot Milk ads. Tyra even painted herself White so she could dress up like Paris Hilton on Halloween.
Still, Wednesday’s episode of “America’s Next Top Model” has people wondering if this instance of blackface is less offensive because a Black model did it. While the jury still seems to be out on this one, you can tells what you think in the comments section.
– Sonya Eskridge