Miss Nevada State 2019 winner Katie Williams has had her title revoked by the Miss America pageant organisers, and believes she lost her throne due to her conservative political views.
Katie Jo Williams, a member of the US Army National Guards and a combat veteran, learned on 18 August that she'd lost the title and been banned from competing in the upcoming Miss America contest.
In a statement posted on Instagram, she said the pageant coordinators told her via emails that she was “too political” to be involved, and that the only way to stay in the contest was to delete political posts from her Facebook page.
However, she added, the organisers failed to address her requests to clarify what content they found to be in breach of their ‘No Politics’ rules.
Williams has created a separate Facebook page for the pageant, devoid of political statements, but she claimed that the organisers continued to voice their disapproval in personal communications of what she was posting on her personal account.
These posts, in her words, included a picture of herself wearing a red ‘Trump 2020’ hat as well as expressions of support for the United States and criticism of the leftist political organisation antifa.
Посмотреть эту публикацию в Instagram
Williams had regularly received calls from the pageant director, Susan Jeske, but insisted that she would only communicate via email for the sake of her own safety.
“I stopped taking your calls because every time you were on the phone with me you told me you agreed with my political opinions and then in writing would softly scold me for them,” she said in a letter to Jeske, according to screenshots she shared on Twitter.
Williams has also published alleged screenshots of online exchanges with Jeske, which appear to show that the pageant director encouraged her to take pictures with President Trump and his son, Donald Trump Jr., while wearing the Miss Nevada sash and crown.
Telling me in one sitting it's ok to get pictures with my sash to post on the Pageant's website. pic.twitter.com/9o3OLhPofF— Katie Williams (@KatieJo1821) August 20, 2019
However, Williams was later told to surrender her regalia, and to never tell anyone about her Miss Nevada title and the pageant per se. If her friends or family told anyone about the pageant, she would be deemed liable, Williams highlighted. She refused to accept these terms and began speaking out to draw attention to what she considers to be an attempt to silence her conservative voice.
“I am so tired of being labelled as this crazy, right wing, whatever you want to call it,” she noted. “I just don’t understand how you can censor someone with conservative values when I’m not even really saying anything that’s bad.”
Speaking to Jeske, the now-former Miss Nevada said she felt that if she had more liberal and less conservative views, they would not be an issue, but the CEO reassured that this wasn’t the case.
Williams still stands by everything she has posted.
After her accusations sparked public outrage over the pageant, Ms. America organisers maintained that Williams was “distorting the facts”.
They said in a statement that all Williams was asked to do was to keep separate social media accounts.
“One is for politics where she can voice her own opinion as Katie Williams and the other is a new Facebook page for the pageant representing Ms. Nevada State 2019,” they emphasised. “None of this had to do with her personal political views.”
However, Williams allegedly refused to edit the Facebook pages by the final deadline. “This leads the pageant to believe that she is no longer capable of representing this pageant as Ms. Nevada State 2019, and she is no longer eligible to participate in the 2019 national pageant,” they concluded.
Williams’s fall from grace comes just one month after another model was removed from the contest for her conservative beliefs.
Kathy Zhu, the 20-year-old Miss Michigan 2019 was dethroned over “offensive” posts, in which she called out a ‘try a hijab’ booth at her university and cited data on black-on-black violence indicating that “the majority of black deaths are caused by other blacks.”
Zhu stood by her comments and said she had been subjected to political opinion discrimination.
Speaking of Williams’s case, she suggested that Miss America “dislikes patriotic Americans”.
Another conservative woman dethroned from a pageant!— Kathy Zhu (@PoliticalKathy) August 20, 2019
I thought other pageants would learn from Miss World America’s mistakes from taking away my crown for being a Trump supporter and expressing my political opinions!
I guess @MsAmerica dislikes patriotic Americans. https://t.co/3XG8kxIvvl
On Tuesday, Zhu announced a “Miss MAGA” beauty pageant, aiming to “empower women who have pride in their country and who share their beliefs with maturity, grace, and reason”. She will be one of the judges for the competition.