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“This is basically what normalized xenophobia looks like,” Miss USA draws flak for her behavior toward Asian contestants




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Ahhh, the delicious irony of a beauty pageant contestant seemingly making fun of her Asian rivals for not speaking English (Miss Cambodia) or not speaking it well (Miss Vietnam), while in an Asian country (Thailand), where not obviously it’s not the first language.

Miss USA, the world is a very big and diverse place. It would serve you well to learn that, wether or not you are crowned Miss Universe.

Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, posted a video on Instagram Live, where she jokingly remarked to Miss Australia and Miss Colombia, “What do you think about Miss Vietnam? She pretends to know so much English, and you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she … [smiles and nods].”

The video has now expired, but it certainly got the attention of netizens.

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In another video, Summers talked about Miss Cambodia, in a seemingly sympathetic manner. “Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English, and not a single other person speaks her language. Can you imagine? Like Francesca (Hung, Miss Australia) said that would be so isolating and I said, yes, and that would be just confusing all the time.”

This was re-posted by Instagrammer @diet-prada, side by side with another video where Summers thanks her fans in Cambodia, and tells them, “I met your Miss Cambodia and she is beautiful.”

diet_prada writes, “Regina George, is that you? This is basically like the most dramatic reality show, but condensed into 1 minute lol.@sarahrosesummers hopefully will prove that ignorance will not win you a @missuniverse title…whatever that means these days. This is basically what normalized xenophobia looks like. If she’s trying to show empathy, the condescending, intolerant tone tells a different story. A reminder that you’re participating in a competition in a country/continent where English is NOT the primary language.
Cc: @francesca.hung @valeriamoralesd@rern_sinat (Miss Cambodia)”

Netizens did not hesitate to call Summers out for her comments and attitude.

letsgo.vin@sarahrosesummers how many languages do you speak? So embarrassing.

matthew_cavitt Racist! #MissUniverse2018 #missusa racist!!!

sheilamolek She not qualified for miss universe ignorance same as her leader. Shameful

trishmadiganHope she loses just for that ignorant rant alone! I’m sure she doesn’t speak any other language! I really hate mean girls like this.

miabannikovaClearly shows no empathy whatsoever. There is really no way to twist this. It is so incredibly mean spirited.

leedazunWhy does everyone have to speak English ? Try to learn some other languages ! Show some respect!

rgburologyMiss USA you are beautiful but unfortunately you bared your soul that is flawed with arrogance and superiority complex..You have realized that you’re chances of winning is jeopardized by your public display of empathy and compassion.At least you’ve taught a cautionary lesson for all the other candidates

To be fair, Summers has apologized for her remarks via Instagram, posting a photo of herself hugging other candidates.

She captioned it with,

@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. 

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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