The Truth About Tyra Banks And Naomi Campbell's Feud

They're two of the biggest and most legendary supermodels in history, but Tyra Banks and Naomi Campbell were sworn enemies for much of their lengthy careers. The trouble started when the "America's Next Top Model" host revealed that Campbell, whom she'd looked up to for years as a Black woman hoping to break into the notoriously difficult modeling industry, wasn't friendly to her when Banks was first starting out. As People notes, during an appearance on the European talk show "Skavlan," Banks advised it was "very difficult" for her in the beginning. 

As the "ANTM" host explained, she arrived in Paris and was booking plenty of jobs but, "the industry was saying, 'Oh, look out Naomi Campbell, here comes Tyra Banks! So Naomi Campbell, sit your butt down.'" Although Banks acknowledged it was unfair to both women, she thought the supermodel's cold response was incredibly harsh. Banks revealed to The Wall Street Journal, "I was going home at night crying my eyes out because a woman I was looking up to seemed like she just didn't want me to be there. And was doing everything in her power to make me go away."

The supermodels were unfairly pitted against each other

Tyra Banks understands that Naomi Campbell was worried about her spotlight being stolen, but she described her time in Paris as incredibly hard regardless. However, the "ANTM" host made it clear there was no rivalry because, as she told The Wall Street Journal, "A rivalry is with two equals to me, where one was very dominant. She was a supermodel and I was just some new girl that got on a plane from Paris and was studying fashion in magazines at a fashion library." 

Banks invited Campbell onto "The Tyra Banks Show" in 2005 so they could work out their issues together. At the end of their lengthy heart-to-heart, Banks gushed it was a great day because she'd finally made peace with Campbell. Although they were pitted against each other, the supermodels found common ground through their shared experience, with Campbell telling Elle in 2013, "I'm proud of her as a woman of color. She's given girls opportunity, and God bless her." 

However, their feud was seemingly reignited in 2016 when Campbell shared a story about Banks being "the real mean girl." As BuzzFeed notes, Banks was facing damning accusations about her questionable behavior on the show, in particular painting models in blackface, and the article claimed Campbell's former rival could no longer play the victim as a result. However, nothing more came of it, so it seems this one has been put to bed.