Should Miss Teen USA Give Up the Crown?

Karlie Hay, from Texas, was crowned Miss Teen USA on Saturday, but evidence of her using a racial slur in 2013 and 2014 has surfaced. Hay apologized for her tweets in a statement and in an interview with George Stephanopoulos: 

"I am very sorry. It's embarrassing. It's something I'm ashamed of. I've grown up from that 15-year-old girl who used that type of language. It's never acceptable and now I know how hurtful it is. It hurts me to know that at one point in my life I used that language. I said that. It's not me."

The Miss Universe organization decided not to have Hay give up the crown:

"As Karlie stated, she was in a different place in her life and made a serious mistake she regrets and for which she sincerely apologizes." 

I don't watch beauty pageants, but I can't imagine how the judges chose a winner from the top 5 contestants. The New York Times called them "striking similar in physical appearance." 

  Miss Teen USA

Image source.

Discussion Starters: 

  • Should Hay give up the crown? If she chooses not to, should the Miss Universe organization force her to?
  • Hay's tweets emerged just hours after the show ended. Should social media screening be part of the pageant process? Why or why not? 
  • Another option was for Hay to present this information as part of her application or maybe to discuss her personal growth in her speech or interview. (Do they still do that?) What do you think of this get-out-ahead-of-it strategy?