fear culture

Jay Manuel shares more war stories about working with Tyra Banks on ‘Top Model’ and YIKES!

Former America’s Next Top Model judge and creative director Jay Manuel is currently on the media circuit promoting his juicy new novel, The Wig, the Bitch and the Meltdowninspired by his time on the hit modeling competition.

Earlier this year, Manuel dished to Variety about some of the backstage drama he witnessed during his nine seasons on ANTM. Now, he’s opening up even more about it with the podcast Just the Sip.

Manuel says there were many “uncomfortable” moments he experienced on set, and that he often felt pressured to behave in ways he didn’t necessarily want to lest he be “dragged for it” by Tyra, er, the producers.

“On Top Model, there was a bit of this fear culture, so I kind of had to go along with it,” he recalls.

Related: That time Tyra Banks told a model not to be proud about being gay has come back to haunt her

Manuel also explains that when he first signed onto the show, he agreed to an eight season contract. After the eighth season was up, he decided to move on.

Banks didn’t take the news well.

“I was free and clear to do whatever I wanted to do,” he recalls. “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.”

He continues, “[I said to her] very genuinely, ‘I feel like I’ve given all I can to the show and I’m gonna work on other things.’ Tyra’s a businesswoman and I thought for sure she’d understand. I thought I was being very lovely and respectful.”

So how did the super model respond?

“She just had two words for me: I’m disappointed,” Manuel adds. “And that was it. That was the end of the discussion.”

Manuel agreed to shoot one more season of ANTM while the producers looked for his replacement. But when he arrived to set for the first day of filming, he says, Banks wouldn’t even acknowledge him.

“The first time I see her is walking on to set, you know the panel we do in casting, and I just said, ‘Hey, I’m so glad you’re here early ’cause I just wanna…’” he remembers. “Walked right by, did not talk to me.”

Manuel goes on to say in the interview that Banks eventually apologized for how she treated him.

“I got a message to come see her in her hotel room, and to be fair, she apologized. And said, ‘I wasn’t being professional. I am an executive producer, you are talent here, I should have been more professional.’”

Despite the apology, Manuel says their relationship “never really recovered.”

Watch Manuel’s full interview on Just The Sip below.

Related: ‘Top Model’ judge Jay Manuel spills all the tea on working with Tyra Banks, says “It was a struggle”