Summers, 24, was captured on video discussing Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat and Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie. The footage was originally posted as an Instagram Live video on Miss Colombia Valeria Morales’ account on Tuesday. Although the video is no longer available on Instagram, social media users saved a copy of it.
What a shame!— Nita (@yuthnita) 12 декабря 2018 г.
Instead of gossiping about other contestants @MissUniverse @sarahrosesummer @MissUSA you should look at yourself. Ask a question, is your comments is 1. Respectful?2. Does it hurt another? U don’t deserve to represent miss USA. pic.twitter.com/bnIgIGdzjA
Summers is heard saying “She’s so cute and she pretends to know so much English and then you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes — ” then Summers is seen nodding and smiling in a way that seemed to mimic H’Hen before laughing.
Summers, Morales and Miss Australia Francesca Hung also spoke about Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat in the video.
“Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English,” Summers said, “and not a single person here speaks her language. Can you imagine? Francesca said that it would be very isolating and I think yes, and just confusing all the time.”
Summers’ comments caused a massive backlash on Twitter, where users were particularly enraged by her words, noting that the assumption that everyone should be able to speak English is ignorant and that the future Miss Universe should not be “an ambassador of bullying.”
@MissUniverse i wonder if you will still allow Miss USA, Columbia, and Australia to continue in the competition after their racist/ bigoted remarks toward fellow contestant Miss Cambodia. I can't believe these ladies will be repersenting their countries!— Damien D.L. Johnson (@Il_Malandrino) 13 декабря 2018 г.
Miss USA truly representing Trump’s America in the #MissUniverse2018 stage. The ignorance. She just sent herself home along with Australia and Colombia.— 𝕃 𝔼 𝕆 🍒 (@jeonleoo) 13 декабря 2018 г.
English is not the only language in this world, @sarahr_summers and it’s not mandatory to speak it.
Could miss USA speak any foreign language? It would be an asset to her. One should not tell another what language to speak. America does not have a national language, so have a seat!
— ADEJAH (@kaleijah) 13 декабря 2018 г.
On Thursday, Summers posted an apology on her Instagram account, saying “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.”
View this post on Instagram
@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.
Miss Australia Hung, who’s half Chinese and half Irish-Australian, also told Daily Mail that the video was “misconstrued” and she and the other girls 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 [to win the title].”