Jeannie Mai stated just last week that she would stick with the pageant despite the fallout from Trump’s campaign announcement speech.
Now, Jeannie Mai has withdrawn from her duties as co-host of the pageant.
In Trump’s speech, he stated in part, “When Mexico (meaning the Mexican Government) sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you (pointing to the audience). They’re not sending you (pointing again).”
He continued, “They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems to us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people! But I speak to border guards and they tell us what we’re getting.”
After his speech, people dropped like flies from the Miss USA pageant, which is co-owned by Donald Trump, including most of the co-hosts, judges, and musical performers.
While I absolutely do not condone Mr. Trump's statements, after careful deliberation I have decided to continue my role as co-host of the upcoming Miss USA Pageant. For the past several years, I have been co-hosting both Miss USA and Miss Universe aligned to support President Paula Shugart. I can't abandon these women when they need our support now more than ever. The mission of the Miss Universe organization has always been to unite women from all over the world and celebrate different cultures. They empower women to become role models in their communities in order to build self-esteem and advance philanthropic initiatives. It is truly unfortunate that recent events have overshadowed the amazing work these women have been doing, but the goals of their organization have not changed. Through the years I've experienced a wide variety of inspiring stories. I've met women who used the pageant to help fund their education. I got to know winners like Miss Universe Leila Lopes who used the platform to bring so much positive attention to emerging countries like Angola. There are countless stories of real women working hard to impact social change. My entire career has been driven by my inspiration to celebrate women and their potential. I hope everyone can transcend this controversy so we don’t lose sight of that. As long as there is one woman standing there on that stage, I intend to be standing there beside her.
However, Jeannie Mai was set to hang on and support the contestants.
Jeannie Mai told ET, “I support every single woman that is standing on that stage that understands what it’s like to be committed to getting to where they are right now. If this one man is going to make these comments it’s going to stop you from representing your family and what you believe in? No, not for me at least.”
Now, Jeannie Mai’s tone, and her intentions, have changed.
Part of the statement from Jeannie Mai via Facebook read, “Let me be clear, I condemn the recent words of Mr. Trump, and find them immensely offensive. At the time I made my decision to remain part of the Miss USA pageant, I was under the impression that Mr. Trump would no longer be involved in the production of the show in any capacity whatsoever.”
She continued, “In addition, given Mr. Trump’s ongoing antics, including his most recent episode today with the current Miss Universe, it is clear that Mr. Trump’s actions have and will continue to distract focus away from the real stars of the show — the women involved in the pageant.”
She then added, “Therefore, I am respectfully withdrawing from my responsibilities and commitment as co-host of Miss USA.”
Trump has attempted to clarify his statements and insist that they have been misrepresented, but he stands by them.
What do you think? Is Jeannie Mai making the right decision or is she wrong in abandoning the women she claimed to support over an idealogical disagreement with Trump?