Miss USA apologizes to Miss Vietnam and Miss Cambodia after she made fun of them not knowing English
Miss USA has taken to Instagram to apologize for her comment after appearing to mock two fellow contestants’ lack of English.
Sarah Rose Summers, who is competing in the Miss Universe pageant, appeared in an Instagram Live video on Miss Colombia Valeria Morales’s account along with Miss Australia Francesca Hung.
She starts out saying Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie is ‘pretends to know so much English’ but then just nods and smiles, while seemingly mocking her smile.
Later, Summers says she feels bad for Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, who she said, ‘doesn’t speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language’.
‘Can you imagine? Francesca (Miss Australia) said that would be so isolating and I said yes and just confusing all the time,’ Summers says in the video. ‘Poor Cambodia.’
Accompanying her apology on Thursday, Summers shared a photo of she, Miss Colombia and Miss Australia embracing Miss Cambodia and Miss Vietnam.
She called the Miss Organization pageant ‘an opportunity for women from around the world to learn about each other’s cultures, life experiences, and views.’
‘In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realize can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologize,’ she wrote.
‘My life, friendships, and career revolve around me being a compassionate and empathetic woman.
‘I would never intend to hurt another. I am grateful for opportunities to speak with Nat, Miss Cambodia, and H’Hen, Miss Vietnam, directly about this experience. These are the moments that matter most to me’
The apology seems to have been accepted as both Nie and Sinat shared the photo on their respective Instagram accounts.
The incident began when popular Instagram account Diet Prada reacted and shared a message with its 986,000 followers likening Miss USA to Mean Girls character Regina George.
The Diet Prada post read: ‘Regina George, is that you? This is basically like the most dramatic reality show, but condensed into 1 minute lol. @sarahrosesummers hopefully will prove that ignorance will not win you a @missuniverse title…whatever that means these days.
‘This is basically what normalized xenophobia looks like. If she’s trying to show empathy, the condescending, intolerant tone tells a different story.
The page also compared the tournament to a ‘gossip ring of toxic mean girl behavior’. The post has been liked over 22,000 times and the US and Australian models have blocked the account.
‘A reminder that you’re participating in a competition in a country/continent where English is NOT the primary language.’
Miss Australia, Francesca Hung – who is half Chinese – posted a photograph on Instagram of herself with the Cambodian contestant, claiming the whole situation has been ‘misconstrued’.
Her post read: ‘I’m so upset that this situation has been misconstrued like this … We were merely saying it must be even more difficult at times not to have a single other delegate being able to speak [Khmer] … which in fact, makes Nat [Miss Cambodia] an even stronger contender [to win the title].’
Twitter users weighed in on the debate with some even asking for the accused contestants to be removed from the competition.
‘@MissUniverse i wonder if you will still allow Miss USA, Columbia, and Australia to continue in the competition after their racist/ bigoted remarks toward fellow contestant Miss Cambodia. I can’t believe these ladies will be representing their countries,’ wrote Damien DL Johnson on Twitter.
Another Twitter user posted: ‘Absolutely enraged that Miss USA, Miss Australia and Miss Colombia made fun of Miss Cambdia and Miss Vietnam for not being able to speak fluent English, TRASH.’
However, Miss Australia Francesca Hung shared a photo on Thursday showing Summers surrounded by fellow contestants while receiving a peck on the cheek from Miss Vietnam.
Miss Cambodia also appeared in the photo and was seen happily smiling next to Summers.