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Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay Will Keep Her Crown Despite Racist, N-Word Tweets

Newly crowned Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay is under fire over four racist tweets that she posted back in 2013 and 2014. The past comments surfaced just hours after the Texas native was crowned the winner at the Miss Teen USA pageant in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 30.

Screenshots of Hay’s remarks, which included the n-word, began circulating online on Sunday night. She promptly posted an apology on her Instagram account.

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“Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person. I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for,” Hay, 18, captioned a photo of her and other contestants on stage. “Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person.”

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She added: “I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of the Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women.”

Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay
Miss Teen USA Karlie Hay at the Venetian Las Vegas on July 30, 2016, in Las Vegas.

Despite the controversy, Hay will not have to hand over her crown. The Miss Universe Organization released a statement on Sunday about the incident.

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“The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization,” the statement read, via CNN. “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. Karlie learned many lessons through those personal struggles that reshaped her life and values. We as an organization are committed to supporting her continued growth.”

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