Miss USA 2016 Viewers Outraged That Miss Hawaii Was Asked Who She’s Voting For

This question was a miss! The audience — and the internet — was outraged after a 2016 Miss USA contestant was asked a pointedly political question during the Q&A session of the pageant.

Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin was directly asked her presidential pick by judge Laura Brown (with pageant officials later noting that the question was written by the Miss USA organization). “With Hillary Clinton expected to surpass the delegate count needed to win the Democratic party nomination, my question to you is: If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump for president, and why would you chose one over the other?” Brown asked.

Hosts Terrence J and Julianne Hough (center) speak on stage as Miss Hawaii USA 2016 Chelsea Hardin competes in the interview competition during the 2016 Miss USA pageant at T-Mobile Arena on June 5, 2016, in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller/Getty Images

The audience immediately erupted with boos; making the question even more awkward, Trump is the former owner of the beauty pageant. The contestant looked visibly shocked and joked, “I would get that, right?”

Hardin, who was eventually crowned runner-up, took a moment to compose herself, smiled and diplomatically answered, “It doesn’t matter what gender. What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who don’t feel like we have a voice, those of us who want our voices heard. We need a president to push for what is right, and push for what America really needs.”

Many viewers took to Twitter to argue that it was wrong to publicly ask a contestant who she’s voting for. Many commended Miss Hawaii for handling the tricky question with grace and poise. See the reactions below. 

Sign up now for the Us Weekly newsletter to get breaking celebrity news, hot pics and more delivered straight to your inbox!

Want stories like these delivered straight to your phone? Download the Us Weekly iPhone app now!