(Spoiler alert: This post contains results from the Miss USA 2016 Pageant)
Donald Trump may no longer own Miss USA, but the presidential candidate still had quite a presence at the 2016 Miss USA Pageant.
During the top 5 question-and-answer session of Sunday night’s pageant, Miss Hawaii was asked directly which of the presumptive U.S. presidential nominees she would vote for — an inquiry that prompted boos in the Las Vegas auditorium and immediate outcry on social media.
While Harper’s Bazaar Executive Editor Laura Brown asked the question of Miss Hawaii contestant Chelsea Hardin, pageant officials quickly noted that the inquiry was written by the Miss USA organization.
“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.
Before Brown could even finish the question, the audience in Las Vegas began booing quite loudly.
Hardin looked surprised by the question and joked, “I would get that, right?”
She composed herself and answered: “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 feel like we don’t 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. Thank you.”
The Twitterverse exploded in outrage over the question. Below are some of the responses.
— Katie Montou (@KayyyTM) June 6, 2016
— Joey O'Hern (@joeyohern) June 6, 2016
— Brandie Piper (@BrandiePiper) June 6, 2016
— Ashley Alexiss (@AshAlexiss) June 6, 2016
— PageantsNews.com (@PageantsNEWS) June 6, 2016
When the show returned from a commercial break, co-host Terrence Jenkins acknowledged how controversial the question was, and reiterated that it was the Miss USA Organization that had composed it.
Miss District of Columbia Deshauna Barber won the title. Miss Hawaii was named first runner-up.