Scandal

Newly-crowned Miss Teen USA to keep crown despite racist tweets backlash

Karlie Hay will keep crown despite backlash over social media posts

 

It looks like some tweets using the N-word won't be enough to cost the new Miss Teen USA her crown.

The Miss Universe Organization, which owns the Miss Teen USA pageant, issued a statement Sunday chastising Karlie Hay's words but also "supporting her continued growth."

After she was crowned Saturday night in Las Vegas, social media users found tweets containing the N-word linked to an account with Miss Teen Texas' name.

Our teen, your queen. #MissTeenUSA is Karlie Hay from Texas!

A photo posted by Karlie Hay (@missteenusa) on

In the tweets, the account holder made several statements using the N-word in a seeminly joking manner toward some of her followers.

A screenshot of the four tweets from 2013 and 2014 has been making the rounds online.

Pageant officials, referencing an apology Hay posted to Twitter and Instagram, say the 18-year-old was going through personal struggles and regrets her words.

"I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for," Hay wrote in a caption of herself with other Miss Teen USA hopefuls. "Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person." 

Hay, of Tomball, Texas, says she will use her platform to advocate for those affected by drug and alcohol abuse.

The scandal comes after Miss Teen USA got some good press for taking the swimsuit section out of this year's pageant.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.