Sarah Rose Summers has found herself on the negative side of a media firestorm after video footage showed her speaking about her fellow contestants. Fans claim she spoke offensively, but her friends say it’s all a misunderstanding.
Miss USA, Sarah Rose Summers, 24, is facing backlash over comments she made in a now-viral, edited video in which she, Miss Colombia Valeria Morales Delgado and Miss Australia Francesca Hung discuss fellow contestants Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat and Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie. In what her friends have referred to as a ‘smear campaign,’ Sarah Rose has been accused of racism and xenophobia after the spliced video highlights the Nebraska native commenting on Rern and H’Hen’s english-speaking skills. In the original video, which was an Instagram Live on Miss Colombia’s Instagram page, Sarah Rose is seen complimenting Rern and H’Hen, calling them both “adorable” and “cute,” while also sharing heartfelt comments about how isolated both contestants must feel in the competition, being the only two of the 94 who do not speak English. In response, two of Sarah Rose’s friends who are close to the situation tell HollywoodLife.com EXCLUSIVELY that the comments are wildly ‘misconstrued’ and she “doesn’t have a mean bone in her body.”
In viral video footage surfaced online, Miss Colombia Valeria Morales was asking the girls what they thought about their fellow contestants. “What do you think of Miss Vietnam Nie?” Summers added to the conversation. “She’s 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 goes [nods and smiles],” Summers said, giggling. “She’s adorable.”
Summers continued: “Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English and not a single other person speaks her language. Can you imagine?” she asked. “Francesca said that would be so isolating and I said yes and just confusing all the time.”
Summers has since apologized publicly for the comments, and videos have surfaced of she and Miss Cambodia hugging and crying together after the situation went viral. Additionally, she posted a photo of herself, Hung, and Morales, all hugging Sinat and H’Hen Nie on Instagram, with a lengthy caption. “Miss Universe is an opportunity for women from around the world to learn about each other’s cultures, life experiences, and views. We all come from different backgrounds and can grow alongside one another,” she wrote.
“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 concluded.
Things seem to be just fine between Summers and her fellow contestants, despite the public backlash. A video (as seen below) from a fan page shows the women sharing a sweet embrace amidst the controversy. And, Miss Vietnam H’Hen Nie, herself posted the same photo (as seen above) that Summers did, writing that they’re all family.
“We all did the great job on the stage tonight! Sleep well and tomorrow will be brighter, my girls. Hugs and kisses. We are a family,” Miss Vietnam wrote.