Miss Teen USA Winner Karlie Hay Uses The N-Word, Chrissy Teigen Notes Pageant’s Lack Of Diversity

Karlie Hay was crowned the winner of the Miss Teen USA pageant on Saturday night, but some social media users weren’t celebrating Miss Texas Teen’s big win after seeing racial slurs all over the 18-year-old pageant queen’s Twitter page.

According to Us Weekly, Karlie Hay impressed the Miss Teen USA judges during the pageant’s Q&A segment when she was asked what teen-related issue she would like the next president of the United States to tackle. Karlie responded by saying that the commander-in-chief should talk to teens about peer pressure and tell them “that you need to be yourself.” She also talked about how “the next Miss Teen USA needs to be a leader,” but so far Karlie Hay isn’t doing a great job of leading by example.

As New York Magazine reports, a few Twitter users discovered that Karlie Hay had an affinity for using the n-word on Twitter a few years ago, and they captured screenshots of her offensive tweets. The tweets appear to be from Hay’s old Twitter account, which she neglected to delete before pursuing her dream of becoming Miss Teen USA. Now that she has her crown, they’re coming back to haunt her.

Mic posted screenshots of around half a dozen of these tweets, which were from 2013 and 2014. Hay seemingly liked using the n-word to refer to her friends.

“Don’t threaten me I will wrap your house n****r,” one of her tweets read.

“I know I am a comedian n****r,” another said.

Karlie Hay’s old account has been made private, but the damage has been done. As USA Today reports, the Miss Teen USA pageant is already being criticized for its lack of diversity, so crowning a winner with a fondness for racial slurs definitely is not a good look for the organization. Sports Illustrated model Chrissy Teigen noted that the top five Miss Teen USA finalists—Miss Texas Karlie Hay, Miss South Carolina Marley Stokes, Miss North Carolina Emily Wakeman, Miss Alabama Erin Snow and Miss Nevada Carissa Morrow—were all white blonde girls.

However, Chrissy Teigen didn’t get too riled up about the lack of young women of color in the beauty pageant, and she defended Karlie Hay and the other contestants by pointing out that they had nothing to do with the judges’ decision to pick five similar-looking finalists.

“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,” Teigen tweeted.

Miss Teen USA Top 5 Lacks Diversity
The top five Miss Teen USA finalists show off their evening wear (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Chrissy Teigen hasn’t shared her thoughts about Karlie Hay’s use of the n-word yet, but 2010 Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford had something to say about Hay’s huge blunder. In addition to criticizing Hay for using the slur, Crawford slammed the Tomball High School graduate for lacking the foresight to scrub any offensive content from her social media pages before the competition. Apparently, someone also found a tweet about underage drinking on Karlie Hay’s page.

Karlie Hay eventually acknowledged her mistake, and used the official Miss Texas Teen account to apologize for her actions.

“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,” Hay wrote. “I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for. 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.”

“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.”

Karlie Hay Miss Teen USA Winner
Karlie Hay poses during the athletic wear competition, which replaced the swimwear competition this year (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Kamie Crawford commended Karlie Hay for apologizing, and she said that she hopes the teen has learned her lesson about posting words on social media that she might live to regret. It does not appear that Hay is in danger of losing her crown over her offensive tweets.

[Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images]