Miss USA And Miss Teen USA Resignations controversy.

Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Resignations

Updated May 10, 2024 at 11:52AM EDT by Zach.

Added May 09, 2024 at 04:47PM EDT by Aidan Walker.

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Overview

Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Resignations refers to events in the spring of 2024 surrounding a number of people employed by the Miss USA pageant, as well as 2023's two winners, Miss USA Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava, leaving the organization. Online, discussions about hidden codes in the resignation announcement of each woman and speculation about the purpose behind their exits spread rapidly as the controversy went viral.

Background

The Miss USA Organization has conducted and televised a beauty pageant every year since 1952. It was owned by Donald Trump in the early 2000s, and following his sale of the organization in 2015, it underwent a series of ownership changes, with a new company, JKN Global, taking control in 2022.[1]



In late April 2024, the social media manager of the organization resigned without giving a clear reason. Media outlets speculated that people participating in the Miss USA pageant, which has seen large amounts of turnover in the past few years, have signed NDAs.[2]

Developments

Noelia Voigt Instagram Post

On May 6th, 2024, Noelia Voigt, the current Miss USA posted her resignation to Instagram. The post (seen below) received over 22,000 likes in the course of three days.[3]


In life, I strongly value the importance of making decisions that feel best for you and your mental health. As individuals, we grow through experiencing different things in life that lead us to learning more about ourselves. My journey as Miss USA has been incredibly meaningful, representing Utah with pride, and later the USA at Miss Universe. Sadly, I have made the very tough decision to resign from the title of Miss USA 2023. I am grateful for the love and support of the fans, old and new, my family, my friends, my coaches, former state and local directors, and my darling beloved Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia. Lifelong friendships and connections that I had the opportunity to make along the way while attending different events, and competing at state pageants, Miss USA, and Miss Universe are invaluable things I will be forever grateful for. Every time someone asked me what my favorite part of being Miss USA was, I would always share with them how much I loved getting to work with Smile Train, being a fervent advocate for anti-bullying, dating violence awareness and prevention, immigration rights and reform, and shedding light on my roots as the first Venezuelan-American woman to win Miss USA. Never could I have imagined the journey that my childhood dream would take me on. Constant and consistent hard work and dedication all lead me to where I am today, and I hope that over the last seven years of competing in pageantry and sharing my journey with you all is something that inspires you to never give up on your dreams, whatever they may be. Eternal gratitude fills my heart when I think about the platform I was given to make a difference, the feeling of achieving a lifelong dream, and connecting with people all over the world, just as I said I would do on the Miss USA stage. Deep down I know that this is just the beginning of a new chapter for me, and my hope is that I continue to inspire others to remain steadfast, prioritize your mental health, advocate for yourself and others by using your voice, and never be afraid of what the future holds, even if it feels uncertain. How I wish I could hug all of you. I love you all with all of my heart and always will. Peace and love, always. Noelia Voigt

On TikTok, user @lextete earned over 130,000 likes and 1.7 million views over two days for posting on May 7th about how the initial letters of the sentences in Voigt's Instagram post spelled out "I AM SILENCED," arguing that this pointed towards a conspiracy (seen below, left).[5]

That same day, TikToker @annanoellll (seen below, right) made a similar TikTok video pointing out the possible coded message of Voigt's post while also discussing the pageant's recent policy of taking direct control of the social media accounts associated with Miss USA away from the women holding the title, earning over 2 million views and 276,000 likes in two days.[6]

https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7366097973282950443
https://www.tiktok.com/embed/v2/7366016354253622571

UmaSofia Srivastava Instagram Post

Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia Srivastava, made a post on Instagram on May 8th, 2024, announcing her resignation as well (seen below).[4]


There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth - Friedrich Nietzsche OMA TE After months of grappling with this decision, I have made the choice to resign from the title of Miss Teen USA 2023. I am grateful for all the support from my family, my state directors, my sister queens, and the fans who have cheered me on since I won my state title. I will always look back on my time as Miss NJ Teen USA fondly, and the experience of representing my state as a first generation, Mexican-Indian American at the national level was fulfilling in itself. After careful consideration, I've decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization. However, I will continue my relentless advocacy for education and acceptance, with my multi-lingual children's book The White Jaguar and with the organizations that I have had the privilege to work with long before I started competing, namely The Lotus Petal Foundation and the Bridge of Books Foundation. Ultimately, working with these incredible non-profits and seeing the first-hand impact that The White Jaguar has had on the kids and adults I've read it to is what has forged my legacy. This work has always been my TRUE purpose. I look forward to the rest of the year as I finish 11th grade as part of the National Honor Society and start the college application process, knowing that my academic career has been defined by my hard work, and my hard work alone. I'm also looking forward to pursuing a new writing project which will become available to subscribers of That's Fan Behavior. Most importantly, thank you to those who support me for who I am and have always been, not for who I've momentarily become. It has been a privilege, UmaSofia Srivastava

In the caption of the post, which received nearly 7,000 likes in the course of a day, Srivastava wrote:

Thank you to everyone who has supported me these past two years, it has truly been an honor to represent you all. While this was certainly not how I saw my reign coming to a close, I am excited to continue my advocacy for education and acceptance, start applying to colleges, and share some exciting new projects on That’s Fan Behavior with those of you who plan to stick around 🥰 At the end of the day, I am so lucky to have had the privilege of this experience, but if this is just a chapter, I know that the story of my life will truly be incredible. Love, UmaSofia

Online Reactions

Fans of the pageant and fans of drama in general were fascinated by the events as they went viral in early May 2024. Reporting from celebrity gossip blog Perez Hilton speculated that the resignations were due to a toxic workplace environment at Miss USA and had been coordinated.[2]

On X, user @focusfronting pointed out Srivastava's choice of using a quotation by Friedrich Nietzsche to introduce her resignation post (seen below) receiving over 5,500 likes in a day on May 8th.[7]


katie @focusfronting miss teen USA started her resignation post with a quote from an insanely obscure Nietzsche notebook fragment, ok queen There are no beautiful surfaces without a terrible depth Friedrich Nietzsche OMA After months of grappling with this decision, I have made the choice to resign from the title of Miss Teen USA 2023. I am grateful for all the support from my family, my state directors, my sister queens, and the fans who have cheered me on since I won my state title. I will always look back on my time as Miss NJ Teen USA fondly, and the experience of representing my state as a first generation, Mexican-Indian American at the national level was fulfilling in itself. After careful consideration, I've decided to resign as I find that my personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization. However, I will continue my relentless advocacy for education and acceptance, with my multi-lingual children's book The White Jaguar and with the organizations that I have had the privilege to work with long before I started competing, namely The Lotus Petal Foundation and the Bridge of Books Foundation. Ultimately, working with these incredible non-profits and seeing the first-hand impact that The White Jaguar has had on the kids and adults I've read it to is what has forged my legacy. This work has always been my TRUE purpose. I look forward to the rest of the year as I finish 11th grade as part of the National Honor Society and start the college application process, knowing that my academic career has been defined by my hard work, and my hard work alone. I'm also looking forward to pursuing a new writing project which will become available to subscribers of That's Fan Behavior. Most importantly, thank you to those who support me for who I am and have always been, not for who I've momentarily become. It has been a privilege, UmaSofia Srivastava ALT

The controversy was also widely covered in the media on May 9th, 2024. For example, Good Morning America discussed it that day and uploaded the segment to its YouTube channel, receiving over 82,000 views and 290 comments in 24 hours (seen below).



Search Interest

External References

[1] Wikipedia – Miss USA

[2] Perez Hilton – Miss USA, Miss Teen USA Bullied…

[3] Instagram – @noeliavoigt

[4] Instagram – @umasofias

[5] TikTok – @lexlete

[6] TikTok – @annanoellll

[7] X – @focusfronting

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