• Jay Manuel said he was afraid to speak up against higher-ups 
  • Jay Manuel and Tyra Banks only exchanged messages through emails 
  • The creative director also talked about being uncomfortable in the show 

There’s a renewed interest in the “America’s Next Top Model” now that it is available for binge-watching on Amazon Prime and Hulu, but the show has also received a new wave of criticism because of the comments on the show. Some of these were made by one of its former judges, Jay Manuel, who has shed light on what happened behind the scenes and his relationship with Tyra Banks.

The fashion guru wrote a novel called “The Wig, The Bitch & The Meltdown”, which will be available starting Aug. 3. Manuel, who has worked as a creative director for the “ANTM” for 18 seasons, began penning the book in 2014.

The 47-year-old admitted to Variety that there were many times when things went awkward when the camera stopped rolling. The judge also revealed what has his relationship with the host, Banks, had become after Manuel left the reality show.

“Over the past few years, we've emailed. To be very honest, we really have no relationship to speak of, which is really sad,” Manuel said.

The last time they bumped into each other was in 2017 at the BeautyCon. While they haven’t been talking of late, Manuel said he treasures his “ANTM” moments with Banks and was proud that they became a part of such a global sensation.

Manuel also looked back on times that he felt terrified to voice out. He hinted that there were higher people from the show that made speaking up hard.

“I actually brought my concern first to another co-executive producer because I was too scared to even take it up higher to an executive producer,” Manuel revealed.

There were many moments when Manuel also felt “uncomfortable,” including one episode in “ANTM” Cycle 4 when the contestants were ordered to swap races. He divulged that this was something added during the pre-production meeting. At first, he didn’t speak up even though he was horrified upon hearing the idea.

Another incident happened in the Cycle 5 and involved Banks making comments about a contestant who revealed she was a lesbian. The host went on to say that she shouldn’t brag about her sexuality, which was downright wrong for Manuel.

Tyra Banks confirmed Friday that J. Alexander, Jay Manuel and Nigel Barker have been fired from America’s Next Top Model via Twitter. Reuters