Miss USA Savannah Gankiewicz Receives Death Threats Amid Pageant Controversy

The Miss USA contest has seen several controversies and scandals in recent years.

May 27, 2024 - 14:45
Miss USA Savannah Gankiewicz Receives Death Threats Amid Pageant Controversy

Savannah Gankiewicz from Hawaii was crowned Miss USA 2023 a few days ago after the previous title holder resigned citing her mental health. Ms Gankiewicz will hold the title till August this year, the remainder of the pageant's term. Amid this, the 28-year-old said that she has received death threats and hateful messages since taking the crown, as per a report in NBC News.

"Since I've gotten this title, I've dealt with a lot of bullying and harassment, and it really does, it breaks my heart," Ms Gankiewicz said in a video shared on X (formerly Twitter).

While wiping away her tears, she continued, "Sorry. I didn't want to cry, but I just feel like it's hard, because I wish people saw where my heart is coming from. And it's helping Lahaina and helping Maui residents and having a platform, but also showing young women that you can get bullied and you can hurt but you stand back up and you keep going and you keep using your voice."

The Hawaiian has taken over the title from Noelia Voigt, who resigned on May 6. Ms Voigt had shared the news in an Instagram post. "I realise this may come as a large shock to many. Never compromise your physical and mental well-being," she wrote in the caption. Ms Voigt was crowned the 72nd Miss USA winner in Nevada in 2023. She was the first Venezuelan-American woman to win Miss USA, as per her statement.

Notably, according to AFP, the Miss USA contest has seen several controversies and scandals in recent years, with multiple allegations of preferential treatment given to certain contestants.

Although the organisation eventually determined that the allegations were unsubstantiated, Crystle Stewart, a previous Miss USA winner, resigned as president. After serving as the vice president of the organisation, her husband Max Sebrechts departed under a flurry of accusations of sexual harassment from previous participants. Cheslie Kryst, who was crowned Miss USA in 2019, died by suicide in early 2022.

In her memoir, she wrote of "long-standing insecurities" that again came to the fore when she won the title and suffered online abuse, as per People.

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