He explained, “On Top Model, there was a bit of this fear culture, so I kind of had to go along with it.”
It was bad enough that Manuel was ready to leave the show after his contract was up in Cycle 8.
“I was free and clear to do whatever I wanted to do. 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,” Manuel shared. “And I said, ‘Unfortunately, I can’t come back to the show…I feel like I’ve given all I can to the show and I’m going to work on other things.'”
Since Banks is a businesswoman, Manuel “thought for sure she’d understand” his decision to move on from the show. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.
“She just had two words for me, ‘I’m disappointed.'” he expressed. “And that was it, that was the end of the discussion.”