Jay Manuel On His Friendship With Tyra Banks
Updated: Feb 20
Jay Manuel says his friendship with Tyra Banks "never really recovered" after America's Next Top Model (ANTM) rifts, but he will "always speak positively" about the legendary model and TV host.
Earlier this month on an episode of E!'s Just the Sip, Jay Manuel opened up about his rocky friendship with former ANTM host, Tyra Banks. He was on the show promoting his new book, The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown. While he claims it is fiction, he spills that there may be some truth to the book. Believe it or not, the makeup artist and creative director's contract was up after Season 8.
"I was free and clear to do whatever I wanted to do. And they wanted to renegotiate for more cycles, and I reached out to Tyra first, because she always asked me to speak with her first," Manuel shared. "And I said, 'Unfortunately, I can't come back to the show…I feel like I've given all I can to the show and I'm going to work on other things.'"
However, Tyra wasn't a fan of his decision and was "disappointed." The show actually screen-tested other famous & fashionable people for the role, but none was the right fit.
"I was on a vacation—and they were two weeks from their production—and my attorney at that time called me and said, 'They've come back and asked could you do just one cycle? Just one cycle as a one-off until they find the right person?'" he explained.
Once he returned, he spilled there was tension with Banks, but they finally got over it and had a good time together like old times.
Despite their turbulent relationship throughout 18 cycles together, Jay Manuel shares he will "always speak positively" about the supermodel-turned-TV host. In an interview with Barstool Sports' Chicks in the Office podcast, he shares:
"In terms of my feelings for Tyra, our relationship isn't what it was. However, I still will always speak positively about her," he said. "I respect everything that she represents, every door she's kicked down—as a woman, as a Black woman; what she represents to so many young Brown and Black girls and boys in the industry, so I will never, ever speak negatively against that."
They may not be best friends anymore, but fans are thankful they have a respectful relationship.
Interested in ALL of the ANTM behind-the-scenes tea? Check out Jay Manuel on Instagram (@MrJayManuel) where he has been hosting tea-spilling chats for each season with Miss Jay, Sutan, and various ANTM contestants!