Days before the finals night, three contestants of this year’s Miss Universe just put their chances at stake after receiving backlash from netizens for supposedly mocking non-English speaking hopefuls, particularly representatives from Cambodia and Vietnam.
In an Instagram live video that was picked up and reposted by Grandslam Beauty Alliance recently, Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers, Miss Colombia Valeria Morales and Miss Australia Francesca Hung were seen making comments on Miss Vietnam H’He Nie’s and Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat’s inability to communicate in their preferred language.
“And she thinks she knows so much English and then you ask her a question, after having a whole conversation with her, and she goes *smiles* (laughs). She’s adorable,” said Sarah of H’He at one point, much to Valeria and Francesca’s delight.
Meanwhile, Sarah’s remark on Rern was more upfront, going as far as calling her situation in the competition as both “isolating and confusing”.
“Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English. And not a single other person speak her language. Can you imagine? I mean, Francesca said that that would be so isolating, and I said ‘yes, and so confusing all the time’,” said Sarah, before complimenting the English-speaking skills of Valeria despite having come from a Spanish-speaking country.
While the Miss Universe committee and contestants involved in the issue have yet to react, Miss Universe Cambodia 2017 Sotheary Bee has already come for Rern’s defense in an Instagram post dated December 2.
“[What’s] important is I know she’s very intelligent and confident enough to represent our country Cambodia and I’m sure, she will do it well and make us proud! Good luck to my girl, and don’t forget to enjoy your every moment in Miss Universe,” wrote Sotheary.