Tyra Banks is the new host and co-executive producer of Dancing With the Stars, but it hasn‘t been an easy transition. Tom Bergeron, the shows former host for its last 28 seasons announced his departure on Twitter on July 13th. His co-host Erin Andrews was also let go. Bergeron has been sassy on Twitter since he found out the news and even poked fun at Banks’ promotional image for the show. Although Bergeron’s petty tweets may have just been fun and games, Banks’ has been dealing with accusations that are harder to brush off. Claims that despite having an impressive hosting resume with productions like, Americas Next Top Model, The Tyra Banks Show, and Americas Got Talent, the only reason she was hired as the host on ’DWTS’ was that she is a black woman.
In an interview with Glamour Banks expressed, “It actually hurts my feelings a bit that people think that I was hired because I’m a Black woman.” She continued, “[The show] reached out to me many, many months ago before any of the [racial] unrest happened, and it was something that I had to think about for a while because I knew that there’s a lot of responsibility coming into an institution.” She had only nice things to say about the previous host and added, “Tom Bergeron is a genius host, a comedic host. I had to make sure that I could bring something new, [while] respecting what he’s already done. And that could I really bring my audience to the show.” According to Banks, ABC asked her to executive produce the show along with hosting it, which made her take the job.
It’s not the only deal Banks signed with ABC. Her company Bankable Productions signed with ABC Signature to produce scripted programming and with ABC Entertainment to create unscripted content. “My team is an all-female crew and we sit around the table and we beat an idea over and over and over again [until it’s ready to present],” she explained. “We will do seven decks on one show idea because I’m like, ‘We need to add an idea, we need to twist it, flip it, make it louder, make it flashier.’”
Banks‘ team isn’t just helping her with television, in an interview with NPR, she revealed that she and her team have been attempting to have “smize” added to the dictionary. “There’s a secret smize. There’s a lot of smizes. But you know what? Guess who will not put smize in the dictionary? Merriam-Webster,” she said. Banks said she and her team have made multiple attempts to get Merriam-Webster to add the word with no success. “We keep calling the Merriam-Webster people.” She added, “We call them. We email them. We show them the cover of The Wall Street Journal,” she stated. “We show everything, all this stuff. And they’re just like ... ’We’ve had our eye on smize for a couple of years.’ And I’m like, ’You know what? Now you’re just hating.’”
‘DWTS’ airs live every Monday at 8pm Eastern.