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Miss Teen USA doesn’t actually apologize for using the N-word

The internet is not happy about newly crowned Karlie Hay's old tweets.


Jaya Saxena


Posted on Aug 1, 2016   Updated on May 26, 2021, 8:52 am CDT

Another day, another white person who insists on using the N-word. Except this time it’s Miss Teen USA.

Texan Karlie Hay was crowned Miss Teen USA in the pageant over the weekend, and is now facing criticism for tweets she wrote in 2013 and 2014 in which she used the N-word.

Naturally, people are pretty angry about this, especially since the contestant pool was overwhelmingly white.

In an apology posted to Instagram and Twitter, she chalked up her racist misstep to “personal struggles” she faced at the time. “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 wrote.

Everyone is capable of change, and it’s entirely possible that Hay has genuinely learned she was wrong and will never use that language again. But it’s also curious that it never occurred to her to delete the tweets (until now), and that in her entire “apology,” she never actually says sorry.

“The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization,” the organization, which runs Miss Teen USA, reportedly said in a statement. However, Hay will keep her crown, and “we as an organization are committed to supporting her continued growth,” it said.

The Miss Universe Organization until recently was owned in part by Donald Trump. After Trump made disparaging remarks about immigrants, NBC said it would no longer air the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants.

In other news, the founding fathers have Hay’s back.

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*First Published: Aug 1, 2016, 10:42 am CDT