According a report on People, not long after her victory on coronation night last Saturday July 30, denizens of social media suddenly posted screenshots of a Twitter account allegedly belong belonging to Hays featuring her name and picture, wherein several entries dated in the period between 2013 and 2014 were replete with racial derogatory terms, in particular the “N-word”. The finds were rather alarming as Hays is currently 18 years old as of winning this year’s pageant. That would mean Miss Teen USA 2016 has been using these slurs, at least in writing, when she was only 15 to 16 years old.
The pictures were quick to make the rounds on the Internet, and an online furor was quick to form. Still, no factual verification has been made of the screen-grabbed Twitter account, and a visit of Hay’s actual account on the social media network reveals that it has been made private.
Parties expressing offense at the racist Twitter posts are now calling on the Miss Universe Organization which owns Miss Teen USA – a “younger sister” version to the Miss USA pageant that sends its winners to compete in Miss Universe – to have Karlie Hays be stripped of her title.
The organization replied in a statement to CNN Houston affiliate KTRK, saying that while they condemn Hay’s usage of the language – “unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization” – their officials will continue to stand by her as the pageant winner, and will support “her continued growth”.
Hays herself took to both her Twitter and Instagram accounts lately in response to the allegations; while not directly referring to the grabbed posts by either confirming or denying them, she did imply that some personal struggles in past years caused her to be “in a place not representative of” who she is as a person. Thus her liberal use of racist language, something she states she is “not proud of and has no excuse”. Hays then explained that her regular participation in beauty pageants and the community of sisterhood he had felt from them has made her “into a better person”.
The posts were accompanied by pictures of Hays with her fellow Miss Teen USA contestants.
Further criticism of the pageant itself lay in its chosen top 5 finalists, all white with fair skin and long blond hair. Social media cried foul at the seeming lack of diversity.
Currently, WME/IMG runs the Miss Universe and its affiliated pageants after a deal with co- owner Donald Trump that took place the year before.
Photo Credit to gigionthat.com