Editor’s Note: This article has been updated with an apology from Sarah Rose Summers.
Miss USA 2018 Sarah Rose Summers is under fire after mocking other candidates at the Miss Universe competition for their inability to communicate in English.
In Instagram Stories exposed by @diet_prada, Summers, who sat with Miss Australia (Francesca Hung) and Miss Colombia (Valeria Morales), is heard ranting about Miss Cambodia’s (Rern Sinat) inability to speak English.
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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) • #sarahrosesummers #rernsinat #valeriamorales #francescahung #missuniverse2018 #missuniverse #missworld #missusa #missaustralia #misscolombia #beautyqueen #beautypageant #pageant #pageantlife #missamerica #wiwt #ootd #realityshow #meangirls #reginageorge #gossip #catty #lol #wtf #dietprada
“Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English, and not a single person here speaks her language,” Summers said. “Can you imagine? Like, Francesca said that that would be so isolating and I said yes, I mean, and just confusing all the time.”
Instagram account @diet_prada exposed the stark contrast in Summer’s words by putting the clip beside an earlier video where she called Sinat “beautiful.”
“Hi Cambodia, thank you so much for your support. I met your Miss Cambodia and she is beautiful.”
Summers’ rant reportedly continues with Miss Vietnam (H’Hen Nie), whom she accused of “pretending” to know “so much English.”
“She pretends to know so much English, and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her, and she goes (gestures a forced smile)…”
Colombia’s Morales is heard agreeing and laughing throughout Summers’ rant, while Australia’s Hung is seen smiling at the camera.
A meme depicting the three candidates as the original Plastics from the 2004 teen comedy film “Mean Girls” surfaced amid the controversy.
Following the expose, @diet_prada found that Summers and Hung had already blocked the Instagram account.
The page also revealed that Morales is “transphobic” over her comments on Miss Spain (Angela Ponce), the first ever trans woman competing in the pageant.
“I believe beauty pageants, such as Miss Universe, is for women who were born women,” Morales told local outlet Canal RCN. “I think that for her, it’ll be a disadvantage, so we should respect her, but not share [the stage with her].”
Instagram users have since condemned the trio of candidates. Many had words, especially for Summers, who made the comments.
In the wake of the drama, Cambodia’s Sinat was reportedly “hurt” but “felt better” after learning that she had been assigned a translator. Meanwhile, Hung, who is said to be friends with Sinat, claimed in an Instagram post that the situation has been “misconstrued.”
“I’m so upset that this situation has been misconstrued like this … We were merely saying it must be even more difficult at times not to have a single other delegate being able to speak [Khmer] … which in fact, makes Nat [Miss Cambodia] an even stronger contender [for the crown],” she said, according to Inquirer.net.
UPDATE: Sarah Rose Summers has since issued an apology on Instagram over the criticism she’s received over her comments:
“@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.”