Sarah Rose Summers, better known as Miss USA, has become the target of significant internet backlash while competing at this year's Miss Universe pageant in Thailand.
In a video first posted by Valeria Morales (Miss Colombia) before being removed and re-posted by "fashion industry watchdog Instagram account Diet Prada," Summers can be seen alongside Miss Colombia and Miss Australia condescending to Miss Cambodia because she doesn't speak English.
In Thailand. Where the official language is... not English.
Oddly, Thailand's official language is Thai. Imagine that.
"Could you imagine? Miss Cambodia is here and doesn't speak any English, and not a single other person speaks her language… Poor Cambodia."
Diet Prada even went so far as to do a side-by-side comparison of Miss USA speaking directly to Cambodia vs. speaking of their competitor behind her back.
Up to a certain point, Summers seems to be empathizing with her fellow competitors, calling Miss Cambodia's situation "isolating," since she doesn't share a language with anyone else in the show.
But the judgmental tone with which she delivers her message undercuts any sense of sympathy.
According to Quartzy, Summers went on to make similar comments about H'Hen Niê, Miss Vietnam:
"She's so cute and she pretends to know so much English. You ask her a question and after having a whole English conversation with her, she goes..."
Summers then "adopts a placid smile and starts nodding in an impression of Niê."
Twitter was furious at Miss USA for how she was representing her country.
Xenophobia should not be what the United States, where Sarah Rose Summers ancestors came as immigrants, is about.
In response to the online backlash, Summers apologized on Instagram, saying:
"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."
Twitter was not especially forgiving of Miss USA, however.
We've come far enough as a world culture that xenophobia and condescension because of language barriers should be seen as what it is: unacceptable and ignorant.
Hey, Miss USA, how's your Thai?