Not her brightest moment. Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers came under fire on Wednesday, December 12, after she made comments about two non-English speaking Miss Universe pageant contestants in a controversial Instagram video.
While answering questions in the clip alongside Miss Australia, Francesca Hung, and Miss Colombia, Valeria Morales, during the preliminary night of competition, Summers was asked what she thinks of Miss Vietnam, H’Hen Nie.
Along with making a face imitating Nie, the Nebraska native said: “She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English and then you ask her a question — after having a whole conversation with her — and she goes [nods and smiles].”
Summers — who has a degree in child development — then proceeded to laugh about it with Hung and Morales.
And she didn’t stop there. Summers later spoke about Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, quickly touching upon her language.
“Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English,” Summers said. “And not a single other person here speaks her language. Can you imagine?”
She went on to add that it would not only be isolating but “confusing all the time.” The clip ended with Summers saying, “Poor Cambodia.”
The video was posted to a pageant fan account titled Grand Slam Beauty Alliance who asked in the caption, “How did this even happen, why” along with the sick face emoji.
“All three of those young ladies should have their titles pulled … and send their First Runner Ups to continue the competition,” one commenter wrote. Another added: “How insensitive…… i’ve always loved ms usa representatives, but i guess not this year….”
However, some came to their defense, saying that “they’re just being chatty and they’re not saying anything mean here!”
Summers posted a lengthy apology about the situation on Thursday, December 13, alongside an Instagram pic of herself embracing Nie.
“@MissUniverse is an opportunity for women from around the world to learn about each other’s cultures, life experiences, and views. We all come from different backgrounds and can grow alongside one another,” she wrote. “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. 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.”
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