America's Top Model needed to slash its budget, says its star and producer

By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated May 18, 2009 02:40 PM
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

First General Motors, then Chrysler, now Paulina Porizkova.

“The current state of the economy has forced shows to make major budget cuts industry wide,” says America’s Top Model executive producer Ken Mok, in a joint statement with Tyra Banks released Monday. “America’s Next Top Model is not immune to these financially challenging times. We’ve had to make significant cuts in every area of the production and, unfortunately, Paulina was a casualty of these cuts.”

As Porizkova herself announced May 12, she was let go from her job as a judge on the show after one year.

“The reason I was told I was fired was because, it seemed that America’s Next Top Model has gotten too fat and they needed to cut some fat and the fat was me,” she said in a TV interview. “So I figured it was either that or my gigantic huge ego. Which I wasn’t aware of until I was told by the producers that I have an ego problem.”

In their statement, Mok and Banks said, “Tyra, who pursued Paulina to join the show as a judge multiple times, was incredibly saddened by the decision the show was forced to make. We really enjoyed working with Paulina, and we wish her all the best in her future endeavors.”