The Miss Universe pageant ordered one of its judges to stop following three contestants on social media because she appeared to be only following Hispanics.
YouTube star Elenora “Lele” Pons Maronese, 21, was told by the pageant to stop following Miss Mexico, Miss Venezuela and Miss Colombia, because it could appear that they had an unfair advantage, TMZ reported.
Pons told the pageant that she didn’t believe she did anything wrong because, as a Hispanic herself, they are who she chose to follow.
She did acquiesce and unfollow the contestants but she shared a photo of herself with only one other contestant, Miss Venezuela Keysi Sayago, after the pageant, calling her a “winner” and a “sister” in Spanish.
MISS VENEZUELA!!! Eres una ganadora y belleza irreal ! Te amo hermana ! Eres un orgullo Venezolano ?? pic.twitter.com/PMCuxQnXoJ
— Lele Pons (@lelepons) November 27, 2017
The pageant was won by South African contestant Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, 22, who helps train women in self-defense and recently earned a business management degree from North-West University.
Miss Colombia, Laura González, whom Pons did follow before the contest, was the first runner-up.
Pons’ videos have more than 874,000,000 views on YouTube with more than 6 million subscribers.
The Miss Universe pageant is particularly sensitive about Hispanic issues and perception.
NBC and Univision stopped carrying the pageant in 2015 after its owner at the time, now President Donald Trump, made comments that some found to be anti-Hispanic about building a wall on the border between the United States and Mexico in order to stem the tide of illegal immigration.
The future president purchased NBC’s 50 percent stake in the pageant, making him the sole owner, then promptly sold Miss Universe to WME/IMG.
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