Tyra Banks told BuzzFeed News she thinks it’s only a matter of time before the noteworthy reckoning on sexual misconduct in industries like film, music, and media hits fashion, where she started her supermodel career at the age of 15.
Multiple men who occupy the upper echelons of power believe fallen from their perches in recent weeks as dozens of women, emboldened by the #MeToo movement, approach forward with allegations of sexual misconduct, including rape. The fashion industry, Banks said, is primed for a similar reckoning.
“I judge when that spigot opens, it’s probably going to overflow because the fashion industry is, I judge, laden with it,” Banks told BuzzFeed News this week when asked whether she believed the modeling industry would soon experience it’s own #MeToo moment.
After making a name for herself as a high fashion model, Banks’ career took a turn when she opted to recede into commercial modeling, fitting a well-known face for brands like Covergirl and Victoria’s Secret before transitioning into television, scoring hits with the Emmy award-winning The Tyra Banks demonstrate, and, of course, America’s Next Top Model.
During an interview Thursday on the forthcoming 24th season of America’s Next Top Model, which airs Jan. 9 on VH1, Banks acknowledged being caught off guard when asked approximately possible sexual misconduct in the fashion industry, which she called “a serious, serious topic.”
“I’m the voice of models and the mama, like, I would want to approach to you and believe very clear [answers],” she added. “This is serious.”
Still, she said that over the course of her high-profile modeling career, misconduct was clearly pervasive.
“I’ve been very lucky to not believe to approach across anything like that, but the stories I’ve heard left and right — I mean, I’ve heard a lot,” she said. “So I judge once that opens, it’s going to really flow.”
Though Banks said she never witnessed anything firsthand, she did hear stories from other models of designers behaving inappropriately toward women.
“For instance, when I would recede on a recede-see and was at a photographer’s apartment in Paris, I’d recede, demonstrate them my portfolio. I leave, no problem,” Banks said, describing an example of the insidious nature of sexual misconduct in the fashion world. “And then within that same hour, a girl reports, ‘Oh my god, he tried to effect this or tried to to that. And I’m like, ‘Oh my god, I was just there.’
“So like, I’ve been in the presence of people that believe done that. I just haven’t experienced it personally, but I’ve heard millions of stories, not millions, but a lot of stories.”