It didn’t take long after Karlie Hay received the Miss Teen USA crown on Saturday (July 30) for social media users to dig up evidence of her previous racist tweets:
Despite calls for her title to be stripped, the Miss Universe Organization (which operates the Miss Teen USA, Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants and used to be owned by Donald Trump) supported the 18-year-old Texas native in a statement emailed to Mic yesterday (August 1).
“The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of The Miss Universe Organization,” read the statement. “As Karlie stated, she was in a different place in her life and made a serious mistake she regrets and for which she sincerely apologizes. 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.”
Hay added her own apology to the email:
A few years ago, I used language that is inexcusable, and I sincerely apologize for my actions. At the time, due to a number of personal struggles, I was in a place that is not representative of who I am now. Through hard work, education, maturity 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 the Miss Teen USA platform to promote messages of confidence, inclusion and perseverance.