Miss Teen USA 2016 was supposed to take a step in the direction of feminism and equal rights as the contest ditched the swimsuits for athletic wear. But in the wee hours following the event that crowned Miss Texas Karlie Hay, the 18-year-old high school senior took to Twitter to do damage control on, well, previous comments on social media. Accused of repeatedly using racial slurs, people began to take screenshots and call her out on it, reports the Houston Chronicle. Hay, her school's varsity cheer captain and yearbook editor, apologized on Twitter at 2am Sunday: "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."
Former Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford issued her own message on Twitter: "If you win any pageant—first things first. Clean up your page. Because if you're under 21, you shouldn't be drinking and if you're white, the N-word ain't your word." The Miss Universe Organization, parent company of Miss Teen USA, tells ABC News that while Hay's language was "unacceptable at any age," she will keep her crown because she "learned many lessons through those personal struggles that reshaped her life and values." Meanwhile, E! News reports that model Chrissy Teigen took issue with the final five, who were all white and blond. "Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch," she tweeted, later adding, "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."