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The 2016 Miss USA Pageant is over and the winner has been crowned, but there is still plenty of outrage over one of the questions posed to a contestant.
“With Hillary Clinton expected to surpass the delegate count needed to win the Democratic party nomination, my question to you is: If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for President and why would you chose one over the other?” judge Laura Brown asked Miss Hawaii, Chelsea Hardin.
The audience at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Sunday began to boo before Brown even finished the question which appeared to surprise the 24 year-old Hardin. “I would get that, right?” she said before launching into her answer, the Washington Post reported.
“All I have to say, it doesn’t matter what gender,” Hardin said. “What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who don’t feel like we have a voice. Those of us who want our voices heard. We need a president who will push for what is right and who will push for what America really needs.”
Miss Hawaii avoids picking Hillary or Trump. pic.twitter.com/coGLJ6PBJw
— Busted Coverage (@bustedcoverage) June 6, 2016
Though Hardin essentially sidestepped a direct answer, outrage from the audience and the firestorm ignited on social media were directed at the Pageant and Brown for asking the question.
Quite rude of Laura Brown to ask a contestant who she is voting for as POTUS if it wasn’t volunteered. #missusa
— Eileen ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@MissWhoeverUR) June 6, 2016
— Christopher Shea (@CKeefeShea) June 6, 2016
After a commercial break, the show’s co-host Terrence Jenkins tried to calm tensions, clarifying that all the questions are created by the Miss USA organization, the Post reported. “If you’re on Twitter, the judges did not come up with those questions, alright? Just so that you know. They were randomly picked,” Jenkins said to boos from the audience. “I know what you are booing, and she answered the question marvelously.”
Hi guys. I asked the question I was given and Miss Hawaii answered beautifully. @MissUSA ❤️
— Laura Brown (@laurabrown99) June 6, 2016
It seems the show’s producers couldn’t resist getting in a question about former pageant owner Donald Trump. Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber eventually won the 2016 and Miss Hawaii was named first runner-up.
Here is a sampling of the Twitter responses:
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— TheWrap (@TheWrap) June 6, 2016
I’m embarrassed for the entire #MissUSA organization. Asking a contestant who they would vote for is absolutely inappropriate.
— Madeline Langdon (@MadelineLangdon) June 6, 2016
@MadelineLangdon it was but she answered it with grace
— Danielle Kramer (@ocgirldani) June 6, 2016
— Nicole Brady (@NicoleDenver7) June 6, 2016
— Alt Stream Media (@AltStreamMedia) June 6, 2016
— Mel (@_melidb_) June 6, 2016
— Danielle Ackerman (@daninyc21) June 6, 2016
Miss USA 2016 Viewers Outraged That Miss Hawaii Was Asked Who She’s Voting For https://t.co/UmO6dOF1q4
— Hawaii Times (@HawaiiTimes) June 6, 2016
— Alexa (@TrotAlex) June 6, 2016
@PageantsNEWS that question was just WRONG
— plainmakeup (@plainmakeup) June 6, 2016
— Brandie Piper (@BrandiePiper) June 6, 2016