Newly crowned Miss Washington Teen USA, Kate Dixon, is facing controversy after a past video of her using the n-word and lip-syncing about drug use and bullying resurfaced.
Fox 13 News said a tipster sent them a video showing Dixon using the racial slur.
In an interview with the news station, Dixon explained she was coerced into saying the n-word and was not aware she was being recorded.
Fox 13 also noted the pageant organizers had known about the video when considering her application and went ahead in entering Dixon in the competition as part of the pageant's mission for contestants "to be the best versions of themselves."
You can watch the Fox 13 news report, here.
A TikTok video shared by user @juliuspleazerfanaccount showed Dixon using the n-word followed by another showing her and a friend lip-syncing to a popular audio clip on the platform with the following lyrics:
“I’m Amber. I only love men when they have money and big c*cks.”
WARNING: explicit and racist language including the use of the n-word
Dixon acknowledged the n-word was not appropriate but claimed she used it anyway due to peer pressure and without knowing she was being recorded.
A week later, the clip was posted online and things took off from there.
"They coerced me into saying a racial slur."
"I told them ‘no, I don’t want to say that'."
"I know that it’s not appropriate."
"And they told me ‘you have a free pass just this one time, it would be funny'."
"So I decided, after much persuasion, I said the word that they wanted me to say and without my knowledge I was recorded."
Dixon said although she and her mother have apologized for her past behavior, she continued being bullied in school and received death threats.
She eventually transferred to another school but said the video resurfaces every time she achieves something.
"Honestly having gone through this experience, I feel like you don’t realize the true meaning of how something can affect you that’s posted online until you’re caught in a situation like mine."
"Where something negative from your past, because it being on social media, comes to resurface again."
"I think most of all that if they feel offended by this that I am very deeply sorry, that I have learned my lesson and I have not used that word to this day. I have not used that word."
The executive producer of Pageants Northwest–an agency that oversees four states in the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA organizations–told Fox 13 they were made aware of the racist clip when the Dixon family brought it to their attention when they were applying for Dixon to compete for the teen title.
After taking the video into consideration, the organization ultimately decided to accept her application–citing it was the pageant's mission was to empower people to "be the best versions of themselves."
Maureen Francisco of Pageants Northwest explained:
"What she did was absolutely unacceptable."
"But as I shared with you—if our organization is designed to be the best version of yourself and if somebody admits fault to it, has apologized and says ‘hey, I want to work on being the best version of myself, and that’s why I want to be part of your community,’ how do you turn your back away?