The Miss World America organisation is under fire after stripping a President Donald Trump–supporting model of her Miss Michigan title over “racist, Islamophobic, and insensitive” tweets.
Kathy Zhu, 20, is a university student who won the Michigan World America title a week ago. However, her reign was cut short after organisers became aware of Ms Zhu’s controversial Twitter account days later.
Beauty queen’s tweets ‘violated Miss World’s rules’
Ms Zhu took to Twitter to post screenshots of Thursday’s email and text exchanges with the state director of Miss World America (not to be confused with Miss Universe, formerly owned by Trump), Laurie DeJack.
She said the MWA organisation came across Ms Zhu’s account, where the beauty queen goes by “Political Kathy” and felt that her content was in violation of the organisation’s rules and conditions.
“Your social media accounts contain offensive, insensitive and inappropriate content,” Ms DeLaurie wrote in the email. “Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognise you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA.”
Miss World America's State/National/Chief Director accused me of being racist, Islamaphobic, and insensitive.— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and "insensitive" statistical tweets. pic.twitter.com/K1Btho0Pgq
Hijab controversy, black gun violence tweets blamed for title strip
Ms Zhu claimed that the decision was made on the basis of her refusal to try on a hijab in 2018 — something that sparked controversy amongst her fellow University of Central Florida students on World Hijab Day on campus — as well as over her tweets about black gun violence.
She tells Yahoo Lifestyle that the pageant’s organisers were made aware of all of her social media pages before they accepted her as a contestant.
Someone called me an islamophobic for not wanting to put on a hijab.— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) July 19, 2019
Someone called me a racist because I recognize that black people kill more blacks than police do.
Good luck to those who are as gullible as this.
“I feel like it’s their fault for not vetting me properly before they signed me up for this,” Ms Zhu says.
Still, she says the entire controversy has more to do with an issue larger than the organisation’s prior awareness of her social media.
“They’re not letting people that represent another side of the story represent them,” she explains.
People are showing their support for the pageant queen on Twitter and echoing the belief she was stripped of the title because of her political stance.
Miss World America didn’t immediately reply to Yahoo Lifestyle’s request for comment.
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