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Top Model admits past anti-gay violence amid other homophobia

Top Model admits past anti-gay violence amid other homophobia
America's Next Top Model contestant Adam Smith. (Photo by Franco Lacosta/Pottle Productions)

Friday’s episode of Top Model featured two kinds of homophobia: an admission by a contestant that he’d once been involved in anti-gay violence, though he did not frame it that way, and another contestant just being outright homophobic by saying one man

The episode was titled “The Guy Who Wears Heels” because gay model Will once wore high heels. This became an issue when Denzel declared Will unfit to win the show. As Previously.TV’s recap says:

“Will, being a gay man, does not fit Denzel’s criteria for a ‘man.’ Will wore heels one time and survived growing up gay in the heart of fundamentalist Christian America, so obviously he’s a wimpy girly man whose victory would tarnish the upstanding reputation of this uber-masculine show. ‘People are always shedding a negative light on male models: that we’re homosexual or in the closet or whatever. So I’d like to see a man break that stigma.’

As if that statement wasn’t enough, Denzel later tried to explain his exasperated conversation by saying talking to Will was like “dealing with a girlfriend.”

That was followed by Adam using the opportunity to admit to his own anti-gay actions.

Earlier, Queerty reported that the show had cast the same Adam Smith as a man who, at an Emory University Sigma Nu frat party in 2010, “dragged a gay student out of the party ‘by the neck’ for wearing a wizard hat,” calling him a “faggot” at the same time. His defense back then was that he threw the gay student out of the party when that student implied Adam was gay.

Here’s Previously.TV again with a summary of what happened:

“While Kari, Raelia, and Mirjana try to calm down Will in the kitchen, Adam decides to take advantage of the situation by telling his own story before anyone else can find out. Conveniently, he substitutes in ‘gay-ass’ for ‘faggot’ and ‘kicked out’ for ‘choked’ and ‘dragged.’ Either Adam underestimates his fellow models’ ability to use Google, or Top Model underestimates ours. Will embraces Adam and accepts his ‘apology to the LGBT community.'”

Oddly, Top Model underplayed Adam’s previous, violent actions and instead spent time at judging on Denzel’s comments. Will showed up in high heels to protest what Denzel said, and Tyra Banks suggested they talk about it. Denzel wrote it off as “it’s just simply my opinion” and said, “I don’t want you to think just because I have a certain opinion of you, we can’t be friends.”

Tyra finally called him on his shit when he said, “I didn’t want Will to feel that it was like I was bashing him for being gay–that wasn’t the issue–or that I’m ashamed of him of him wearing heels.” She said, “Yes you are, Denzel.” And then Tyra gave one of the most effective lectures she’s ever given:

“Whenever you step into an industry that is predominately a certain sex, you get the steretoype that you are gay. Be proud of this industry and every single male model–gay, straight, heels, corsets. Who gives a fuck? I want to take you back 50 years and imagine you overheard Will say, ‘I hope that Denzel guy doesn’t win, because if a black guy wins, my friends at home are going to say [censored].'”

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  • Andy Dehnart is the creator of reality blurred and a writer and teacher who obsessively and critically covers reality TV and unscripted entertainment, focusing on how it’s made and what it means. Learn more about Andy.

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