Miss USA has apologized for comments she made about fellow Miss Universe contestants that sparked controversy online.
In a live Instagram video posted Wednesday, 24-year-old contestant Sarah Rose Summers can be heard saying that Miss Vietnam, H'Hen Nie, is "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 (nods and smiles)," reported CNN.
Miss Colombia, Valeria Morales, and Miss Australia, Francesca Hung, appear alongside Summers in the video. The three are in Thailand for the Miss Universe pageant, set to take place Sunday in Bangkok.
"Can you imagine? Francesca (Miss Australia) said that would be so isolating, and I said yes and just confusing all the time," Summers said in the same video. "Poor Cambodia."
Summers' comments drew criticism on social media, with some calling her "xenophobic" and "ignorant."
"U don't deserve to represent miss USA," wrote one Twitter user, @yuthnita.
"You are a lame image of bigotry," tweeted user @AlexisBetito.
Summers posted an apology Friday to her Instagram account.
"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," Summers said.
The post was accompanied by a photo of Miss Universe contestants hugging each other.
Miss Cambodia, Rern Sinat, posted the same photo to Instagram on Friday. The post included the caption: "My friendship and sisterhood in Miss Universe will forever be kept in my heart. Our experience have given us the opportunity to show and learn different cultures. I speak the language of love, respect and understanding. I love you my sisters."
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