Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay Will Keep Crown After Racist Tweets Surface | NBC Chicago

Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay Will Keep Crown After Racist Tweets Surface



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    Miss Texas Teen USA 2016 Karlie Hay (L) reacts as she is crowned Miss Teen USA 2016 by Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik during the 2016 Miss Teen USA Competition at The Venetian Las Vegas on July 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Hay will get to keep her crown after questionable tweets surfaced in which she used racist language.

    The celebration didn't last long for Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay.

    Hours after the beauty pageant contestant accepted her crown, the 18-year-old decided to acknowledge some controversial language she used a couple years back. Shortly after her win, tweets from 2013 surfaced in which Hay allegedly used racial slurs. 

    "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," she wrote on Instagram.

    "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."

    She continued: "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 messages have since been deleted. Officials have allowed Hay to keep her crown. 

    E! News has reached out to Miss Teen USA organizers for additional comment.

    Pageant officials chastised Hay in a statement Sunday, but supported "her continued growth," The Associated Press reported. 

    Former Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford read about the controversy and decided to speak out on Twitter.

    "I can take the #missteenusa top 5 being an all white, all blonde top 5. What I can't take is - why didn't the winner clean up her page?" she wrote on social media. "If u win any pageant - first things first. Clean up ur page. Cus if ur under 21 u shouldn't b drinking&if ur WHITE the n word ain't yo word!"

    This isn't the only controversy facing the pageant this weekend. While the event received plenty of praise for replacing the swimsuit portion with an athletic wear competition, many followers of the show — including Chrissy Teigen — couldn't help but also focus on the lack of diversity in the final five contestants.

    "Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch," the supermodel wrote on Twitter. "It's fiiiiiine. Not their fault. I'm sure they are delightful women. Just funny. I'm not gonna write a think-piece on a damn pageant."

    This year's telecast was streamed live on the Internet from The Venetian Resort & Casino in Las Vegas.

    Hay, of Tomball, Texas, says she will use her platform to advocate for those affected by drug and alcohol abuse, according to The Associated Press.

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