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USA Pageant Winners Give Up Crown, Leading To Questions About Organization

Miss USA Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava made headlines when they gave up their crowns within a few days of each other. Miss USA's public notice on Instagram did not specify why. She hinted at it, though, asserting she strongly values making decisions to prioritize her mental health and to advocate for herself. Then, Miss Teen USA announced her resignation, stating her "personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization." Social media fans noted that the first letters of Voigt's sentences spelled out, "I am silenced." A former social media director announced her resignation within the same week and accused the organization of mistreating the three of them. The organization called the director's comments "false" but did not refer to Miss USA and Miss Teen USA. The three women are understood to be bound by nondisclosure agreements. Many Miss USA state titleholders have posted support for Voigt and asked the organization to release her from the NDA.

NBC obtained a copy of Voigt’s resignation letter. In that letter, she says, “There is a toxic work environment within the Miss USA organization that, at best, is poor management and, at worst, is bullying and harassment.” She referred to CEO Laylah Rose as “unnecessarily aggressive" because she frequently threatened Voigt with disciplinary action, including taking away her compensation, for minor issues Rose failed to communicate clearly. Voigt included the details of an alleged sexual harassment incident at a Christmas event. Organizers left her alone with a man who “made several inappropriate statements to [her] about his desire to enter into a relationship.” When Voigt complained, Rose purportedly responded they could not prevent the behavior and that it was part of being a public figure. Voigt asserts she now has anxiety and other physical symptoms, including heart palpitations, from her Miss USA role. She called Miss USA an unsafe and toxic work environment. Rose, who took over the organization in 2023, told NBC that “the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA” is her top priority.