LAS VEGAS -- Less than 24 hours after crowning their newest winner, Miss Teen USA officials came to the rescue of their winner after she admitted to using the n-word in the past.
The beauty pageant has been in the spotlight leading up to Saturday's competition for dumping the swimsuit competition and switching it to athletic wear to highlight a healthier lifestyle. Then on Sunday night, Twitter was sent in a frenzy after the newly crowned Miss Teen USA admitted to using the n-word on several occasions.
Karlie Hay of Texas was crowned Miss Teen USA Saturday night in Las Vegas. Hours later, it was discovered that Hay had used the n-word in some Twitter posts in 2013. The messages have since been deleted.
Hay released the following statement about the controversial tweets:
She continued, "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."
The Miss Team USA organization released a statement to E! News:
"The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of The Miss Universe Organization. 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," the statement read. "Karlie learned many lessons through those personal struggles that reshaped her life and values. We as an organization are committed to supporting her continued growth."
Former Miss Teen USA Kamie Crawford read about the controversy and decided to speak out on Twitter.
The pageant also came under fire Saturday for the lack of diversity of their top 5 finalist. The final five teenagers were all white with blonde hair.