One of the questions asked during the “final question” round of the Miss USA Pageant, televised Sunday by Fox, sparked a torrent of controversy and stole the spotlight from the crowning of Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber as Miss USA.
Time magazine reports that Miss Hawaii, Chelsea Hardin, was asked a political question that ruffled feathers.
Laura Brown, one of the judges, reportedly asked Hardin: “If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for president. And why would you choose one over the other?”
“The question was met with boos from the live audience at the competition, after which Hardin responded graciously, trying to answer the question diplomatically,” Time reports.
Hardin responded: “All I have to say is: It doesn’t matter what gender, all we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who don’t feel like we have a voice. Those of us who want our voices heard. We need a president to push for what is right and push for what America really needs.”
The Twitterverse quickly erupted with a torrent of criticism over a question that many observers considered too private — not to mention one that could have biased some of the judges against Hardin, who was eventually named first runner-up.
A sampling of tweets on the topic includes these:
“My first answer to Hawaii’s question is, ‘How about NONE YO BUSINESS’#MissUSA”
“Disgusted with #MissUSA2016 for asking Chelsea Hardin (Miss Hawaii) who she will vote for. Delighted w/her response. #YourVoteisYourBusiness”
“What a shame to ask Hawaii to answer an otherwise confidential question… Yet she came back w/ class and dignity! #MissUSA”