The 2016 Miss Teen USA was crowned over the weekend, but the disgraceful actions of the young woman who claimed the title have come under fire.
Karlie Hay beat out dozens of girls to officially be crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 on Saturday night in Las Vegas. During the airing of the competition, social media was on fire after a series of racist tweets from Hay's Twitter account began to make their way around the Internet.
In the derogatory tweets sent out between 2013 and 2014, Karlie uses the n-word multiple times on several different occasions during public exchanges with her friends. "Watching taken with out my n----r @maryguinn1 because she chooses @Willias_Trace over me. Feel special b---h", Karlie writes in one of the tweets.
Shortly after she won the competition, many began to question what consequences Hay would face if the messages proved to be authentic. To the disappointment of many, the Miss USA Organization issued a statement on Sunday stating that while they don't approve of the language used in Hay's tweets, they will continue to support her.
"The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of The Miss Universe Organization," the statement reads. "As Karlie stated, she was in a different place in her life and made a serious mistake she regrets and for which she sincerely apologize. Karlie learned many lessons through those personal struggles that reshaped her life and values. We as an organization are committed to supporting her continued growth."
Karlie also confirmed that the Tweets were her own and posted a separate statement on her Instagram page addressing her comments.
Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person. I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for. Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person. I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of The Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women.
The Miss USA Organization, which was owned by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump until 2015, also faced criticism earlier Saturday evening for the lack of diversity in this year's Miss Teen USA competition. It was revealed that the top 5 finalists were all blonde and white with strikingly similar facial features.
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