The 18-year-old who was crowned Miss Teen USA over the weekend is at the center of a firestorm over her apparent use on the N-word.
Texan Karlie Hay became the focus of outrage after being crowned Saturday. “Social media users pointed out the repeated use of a racial slur in what appeared to be her personal Twitter account in 2013 and 2014,” CNN reports. “Users posted screen grabs from what appeared to be an account with her name and photo with several references to the slur.”
The report notes that the authenticiy of the Twitter account had not been verified, and the tweets have since been made private. But Hay took to social media to do some damage control after the controversy flared up, admitting, “I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for.” You can see her Instagram post below.
The organization behind the pageant also addressed the issue, condemning Hay’s language but appearing to stand by her selection as Miss Teen USA.
In a statement, the organization said: “The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization.” The statement adds that the organization is “committed to supporting her continued growth,” and notes: “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.”
Here’s the Instagram post from Hay responding to the controversy …