We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.


In order to commemorate 21-year-old porn star Sasha Grey‘s mainstream debut in The Girlfriend Experience this year, let’s revisit Grey’s 2007 appearance on The Tyra Banks show. Grey appeared on Tyra at age 18, after having spent eight months working in the porn industry. While I generally find porn kinda boring, Tyra is so out-of-control in this clip that I thought it might be worthwhile to reminisce.

Now that Grey has made the transition to mainstream film, perhaps Banks regrets characterizing Grey as just another lost kitten in need of a good cry and a loving embrace from Ty-Ty. When Grey refuses to play along, Banks engages in a televised exercise of hatin’ the player, not the game.

How condescending is Banks to Grey in this clip? Let us count the ways:

– She characterizes Grey as “cold, distant, and hard”; Grey explains that she is just being professional.

– Banks repeatedly refers to Grey, at this point 18 years old, as a “school-girl” who “looks like a middle-schooler” and “an eighth-grader,” in order to devalue her experience.

– She pretends like she doesn’t know what a “gang-bang scene” is. Come on, Tyra.

– She refuses to accept Grey’s statement that she has not been sexually abused; she insists that Grey is not “admitting” and “facing” her “issues.”

– She attempts to force Grey to give her a “real reason—-a deep-soul reason” for pursuing a career in pornography—-as if every woman’s professional goals must first satisfy Tyra’s spiritual expectations in order for them to be valid.

– She refuses to accept that Grey’s boyfriend’s mother actually respects Grey. Who could ever do that?

Note: this clip is notated with crazy anti-Sasha Grey subtitles

– Finally, Banks rolls out an authority on the porn industry—-a 19-year-old former prostitute and porn actress who warns Grey about the dangers of the profession. “I am those girls . . . I was those girls,” says Tiana—-who, at one year older than Grey, is accepted by Banks as an authority, while Grey remains just a girl who “looks like an eighth-grader.”