This question was a miss!
The audience — and the internet — was outraged after a 2016 Miss USA contestant was asked a pointedly political question during the Q&A session of the pageant.
Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin was directly asked her presidential pick by judge Laura Brown (with pageant officials later noting that the question was written by the Miss USA organization). “With Hillary Clinton expected to surpass the delegate count needed to win the Democratic party nomination, my question to you is: If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for president, and why would you chose one over the other?” Brown asked.
The audience immediately erupted with boos; making the question even more awkward, Trump is the former owner of the beauty pageant. The contestant looked visibly shocked and joked, “I would get that, right?”
Hardin, who was eventually crowned runner-up, took a moment to compose herself, smiled and diplomatically answered, “It doesn’t matter what gender. What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who don’t feel like we have a voice, those of us who want our voices heard. We need a president to push for what is right, and push for what America really needs.”
Many viewers took to Twitter to argue that it was wrong to publicly ask a contestant who she’s voting for. Many commended Miss Hawaii for handling the tricky question with grace and poise.
See the reactions below.
EXCUSE ME, SHAME ON MISS USA FOR THAT QUESTION. Miss Hawaii is such a poised young woman and handled that flawlessly. #MissUSA
— Absofcourse (@Absofcourseee) June 6, 2016
Hi guys. I asked the question I was given and Miss Hawaii answered beautifully. @MissUSA
— Laura Brown (@laurabrown99) June 6, 2016
— Devon Paul (@devleeann) June 6, 2016
— Courtney Kerr (@thecourtneykerr) June 6, 2016
— Brandie Piper (@BrandiePiper) June 6, 2016
The question to Miss Hawaii should never have been asked! #MissUSA
— Holly Julian (@HollyDurst) June 6, 2016
Miss Hawaii had the most difficult question and she responded so well. Why would you ask who you’re voting for on national television?
— Camille (@camialcanta) June 6, 2016
Miss Hawaii killed the question round! Good job avoiding that super inappropriate question! Very disappointed they even asked that!
— Brittany Wise (@brittanyywise) June 6, 2016
Miss Hawaii should win just for holding herself together after being asked such a ridiculous question #MissUSA
— G (@GiaFontana) June 6, 2016