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Todd Chrissley Breaks His Silence in a Statement on the Miss Teen USA Controversy

buzzz worthy. . .

OPINION BY Mona Austin

Todd Chrissley, reality star of "Chrissley Knows Best" and father of Miss Tennessee Teen USA, Savannah has responded to the Miss Teen USA racial slur controversy.  Karlie Hay of Texas won the crown at the Venetian Theatre in Las Vegas on Saturday, July 30.  Over the past 3 days since the airing of the pageant, the internet has been  abuzz with people either showing grace toward the newly crowned queen's past mistakes or calling for the Miss Universe Organization to strip her of the title. There has been more condemnation than support for the inflammatory words she used in a series of incriminating tweets unearthed from 2 years ago.


Deshauna Barber, the current Miss USA, who is African American,  crowned Hay.  She has not spoken publicly on the ordeal -- neither has Miss Universe, Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach,  who assisted with crowning, nor the 2015 Miss USA Olivia Jordan who hosted the program.  

Hay released a statement that the media is wrongfully referring to as an "apology." In the statement the 18-year-old queen admitted she used the N-word and said she was not proud of it and that her life has changed since being involved in the pageant. She never said she was sorry, which is essentially a non-apology.

Pointing out that some title holders have been dethroned for much less, Miss Oklahoma Teen USA, Hellen Smith did not remain silent on the issue and boldly shared her views with Cosmopolitan.com. In the Oklahoma teen's opinion, her sister queen's regret appeared t stem form being caught more than wholehearted regret over her wrong doing. "It seemed like she's sorry that she insulted people, not she's sorry she said it in the first place," said of Hay's explanation. Smith noted that Miss Florida is currently suing the organization for taking her crown based on an allegedly false accusation that she broke the rules by using an outside makeup artist instead of doing her own. Underscoring the inherent unfairness of the double standard Smith complained, "Someone with a national title hasn't had their title taken away for using racial slurs. And she is a representation of Miss Universe because she's Miss Teen USA." 

Chrissley was mum for days also, until today. He said that he does not think anyone should get a pass with regard to  Hay's use of the N-word on Twitter. Chrissley said she is "rightfully underfire." 
   
The current state of race relations in America sees the lives of African Americans being devalued everyday and appears to overshadow the progress the nation has made.  The most disheartening aspect of this matter is how young she is.  We have come so far and overcome tremendous racial hurdles in the USA, a nation led by the first African American President.  A passive attitude toward irresponsible verbal expression can not be overlooked by the adults who are running the organization.  If Hay was comfortable using the racial slur and expletives on a public social media forum, how does she act offline?  It is important to send a message to all title holders that being one person when the crown is on and another when it is off does not meet the standard.  True character is displayed by the behavior one exemplifies when no one is watching.

Read Todd Chrissley's full statement for his overall take on the matter:

We are currently at a point in our nation where we are looking to leadership and role models to help us find identity and a vision for our future. There is no opportunity too small to use your platform for good, and reason more important than creating an environment of tolerance and respect. The Miss Teen USA Pageant winner is just one of a dozen opportunities where we get to showcase a young person as a role model for the current generation — and one that is currently and rightfully under fire. 

As you may know, there have been reports of the use of racial slurs — and specifically the “N” word — on statements on the Miss Teen USA winner’s Twitter account. As a parent, this a critical moment to bestow lessons. I do not believe anyone gets a free pass with using this type of language. No matter your race, religion, color, culture, it is unacceptable to use language that cuts deeply into someone else’s identity. The “N” word is something I have experienced firsthand with my granddaughter, and it’s a word that’s senseless in any context. No excuses. 

Beauty is something you have to cultivate. It’s more than a hairstyle, a beaded gown or a crown, but something deep inside that must be worked on. Real beauty is a reflection of your character and stronger than just the response of “world peace” to a questions section of a competition. Rather, it’s how you shine with grace that makes you worthy of a title or a platform. It’s that character which is the beauty we should be holding up as a beacon for the next generation. This is what I try to impart upon my children as both a parent, and as someone who understands the value and power of the words we speak. 

Savannah Chrissley, Miss Teen Tennessee
People are inexperienced in their youth and may say and do inappropriate things, which opens the door for education and tolerance in their adulthood.
Savannah has always enjoyed being in pageants, and the Miss Teen USA pageant is no exception. I’m proud of the hard work she continues to put forth and challenge herself in these competitions both in beauty and in character. Savannah is proud to hold the title of Miss Tennessee Teen USA, and will continue to serve as a positive role model within the state.Thus far, the response from the Miss Universe Organization that runs the pageant has been supportive.

"The language Karlie Hay used," the statement read, "Is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of The Miss Universe Organization ... 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." 

Chrissley's daughter participated in the pageant that was held in Las Vegas, NV on Saturday, but did not advance to the finals.