Supporters of Miss USA first runner Chelsea Hardin from Hawaii have expressed outrage on social media after she was asked “who she would vote for – Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump – if elections were held tomorrow and why” during the final round of the pageant’s question and answer portion.
Laura Brown, fashion journalist and executive editor of Harper’s Bazaar, was the judge who asked: “If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hilary Clinton or Donald Trump for president, and why would you choose one over the other?”
“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,” said Hardin whose mother is a Filipina.
Hardin’s response was widely applauded although it wasn’t enough to win her the crown that went to Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber in Las Vegas on June 5.
Hardin’s question and response became a trending topic on Twitter with some of the reactions below:
Miss Hawaii’s question was completely uncalled for, but she answered it with class. #MissUSA
EXCUSE ME, SHAME ON MISS USA FOR THAT QUESTION. Miss Hawaii is such a poised young woman and handled that flawlessly. #MissUSA
I applaud Miss Hawaii for her answer. That judge shouldn’t have asked her that question ’cause it’s nobody’s business but her own #MissUSA
The pageant also drew criticisms from news portals and websites.
A headline at cosmopolitan.com read: “People are pissed about the question Miss Hawaii was asked during the Miss USA pageant” on June 5.
At Daily Mail Online UK wrote: “Viewers left outraged after Miss Hawaii was asked who she would vote for” and “Fans of the beauty pageant took to social media to vent their fury”
In less than an hour, a clip of the Q and A on You Tube churned more than 80,000 views an hour after it was posted.
The 24-year-old Hardin played for the NCAA division I women’s volleyball during her college years. Her father is a pilot for Hawaiian Airlines while her mother Christine Mitchell Keolani is a real estate agent.
The Miss USA Organization which sponsors the Miss USA, Miss Teen USA and Miss Universe pageants were previously owned by Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump.
He sold the franchise to WME/IMG in 2015 after several countries said that they would boycott Miss Universe after Trump’s controversial remarks against Mexicans.
Barber will represent Miss USA in the Miss Universe pageant.