The Q&A portion of the Miss USA pageant is famous for missteps, but usually the pratfalls come from the answers—not the questions. Over the weekend, though, judge Laura Brown asked Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin a question that incited immediate boos from the crowd—and a veritable Twitterstorm afterward.
“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?” Brown asked.
Visibly taken aback, Hardin plastered on the trademark pageant smile and started by joking, “I would get that, right?” Taking a breath, she continued, “All I have to say—it doesn’t matter what gender. 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 to push for what is right, and push for what America really needs.”
Twitter, where the world goes to vent, erupted with commentary on the inappropriate question; some suggested that Miss Hawaii was robbed of a Miss USA crown because of it.
— Ashley Alexiss (@AshAlexiss) June 6, 2016
— Nicole Brady (@NicoleDenver7) June 6, 2016
— Sonny (@sonnyleyba) June 6, 2016
— Michael Mihajlov (@MihajlovM) June 6, 2016
— Bill Schack (@schack14) June 6, 2016
— Devon Paul (@devleeann) June 6, 2016
— Brandie Piper (@BrandiePiper) June 6, 2016
— Erica Kay Sweeney (@ericakays) June 6, 2016
— Carly Migdall (@carlymigdall) June 6, 2016
Brown, exec editor at Harper’s Bazaar, hit Twitter to respond personally to the backlash, since many suggested that she shouldn’t have asked the question at all.
Hi guys. I asked the question I was given and Miss Hawaii answered beautifully. @MissUSA ❤️
— Laura Brown (@laurabrown99) June 6, 2016