LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 30:  Miss Texas Teen USA 2016 Karlie Hay (2nd L) reacts as Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber (L), Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik (3rd L) and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (R) crown Hay Miss Teen USA 2016 during the 2016 Miss Teen USA Competition at The Venetian Las Vegas on July 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Ethan Miller/Getty Images North America/Getty Images
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 30: Miss Texas Teen USA 2016 Karlie Hay (2nd L) reacts as Miss USA 2016 Deshauna Barber (L), Miss Teen USA 2015 Katherine Haik (3rd L) and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (R) crown Hay Miss Teen USA 2016 during the 2016 Miss Teen USA Competition at The Venetian Las Vegas on July 30, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
Now playing
01:15
Miss Teen USA criticized over racist tweets
Fox / Azteca, ABS-CBN
Now playing
01:23
The new Miss USA is ...
sarahidan/Instagram
Now playing
01:04
Selfie leads to death threats for beauty queen
Latina
Now playing
01:16
Pageant contestants flip script, talk violence
Miss America pageant Texas zinger moos erin
Miss America pageant Texas zinger moos erin
Now playing
02:03
Miss Texas calls Trump out on Charlottesville
CNN/Vj Bedi
Now playing
00:55
India's first transgender beauty pageant
FOX
Now playing
00:47
Miss USA: Health care is a privilege
Miss Universe contestant Iris Mittenaere of France is crowned the new  winner by former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines.
TED ALJIBE/AFP/AFP/Getty Images
Miss Universe contestant Iris Mittenaere of France is crowned the new winner by former Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines.
Now playing
00:54
Miss Universe 2017 is ...
Now playing
01:37
Miss Sierra Leone makes beauty pageant history
Miss America
Now playing
01:09
Beauty queen's looks attacked on social media
Teen pageant contestant collapses on stage pkg_00013110.jpg
KVLY
Teen pageant contestant collapses on stage pkg_00013110.jpg
Now playing
02:22
Teen pageant contestant collapses on stage
cnni vo miss universe israel lebanon photo_00000514.jpg
cnni vo miss universe israel lebanon photo_00000514.jpg
Now playing
01:08
Controversy over Miss Universe selfie
Kazantsev, left, gasps after she is named Miss America.
Julio Cortez/AP
Kazantsev, left, gasps after she is named Miss America.
Now playing
01:13
2014: Miss New York crowned Miss America
de dnt miss delaware too old_00000013.jpg
KYW
de dnt miss delaware too old_00000013.jpg
Now playing
01:24
Why this beauty queen lost her crown
Mekayal Diehl Miss Indiana_00033630.jpg
Mekayal Diehl Miss Indiana_00033630.jpg
Now playing
04:06
Is this the body of a beauty queen?
nr intv emme miss indiana normal body type_00014020.jpg
AP
nr intv emme miss indiana normal body type_00014020.jpg
Now playing
03:37
Is Miss Indiana's body really 'normal'?
pkg people magazine rejects woman gun photo_00003316.jpg
pkg people magazine rejects woman gun photo_00003316.jpg
Now playing
01:58
Beauty contest rejected THIS photo
dnt darlington brazil miss bum_00011209.jpg
dnt darlington brazil miss bum_00011209.jpg
Now playing
02:16
Contest crowns country's best booty

Story highlights

Karlie Hay, 18, was crowned Miss Teen USA on Saturday

Users captured old tweets allegedly from Hay with casual references to a racial slur

CNN —  

Shortly after being crowned the new Miss Teen USA, Karlie Hay of Texas got her first introduction into the national spotlight.

After her win on Saturday, social media users pointed out the repeated use of a racial slur in what appeared to be her personal Twitter account in 2013 and 2014.

Users posted screen grabs from what appeared to be an account with her name and photo with several references to the slur.

The authenticity of that Twitter account could not be verified and the tweets from that account are now private.

Hay, 18, responded to the allegations online, but did not apologize directly in reference to the alleged use of the word.

“Several years ago, I had many personal struggles and found myself in a place that is not representative of who I am as a person,” the statement read in both her Instagram and Twitter accounts.

“I admit that I have used language publicly in the past which I am not proud of and that there is no excuse for. Through hard work, education and thanks in large part to the sisterhood that I have come to know through pageants, I am proud to say that I am today a better person.

“I am honored to hold this title and I will use this platform to promote the values of The Miss Universe Organization, and my own, that recognize the confidence, beauty and perseverance of all women.”

Despite questions of Hay’s character and calls for her to be stripped of her crown, Miss Teen USA appeared to stand by its latest winner.

The Miss Universe Organization, which oversees Miss Teen USA, issued a statement saying that “As Karlie stated, she was in a different place in her life and made a serious mistake she regrets and for which she sincerely apologizes.”

The statement, obtained by KTRK, a CNN affiliate in Houston, near her hometown of Tomball, read: “The language Karlie Hay used is unacceptable at any age and in no way reflects the values of the Miss Universe Organization.” After condemning her language, it concluded that it was “committed to supporting her continued growth.”

Pageant was already being criticized

Critics left scathing comments on social media accounts accusing the organization of trivializing the racial slur.

CNN attempted to reach both Hay and the Miss Universe Organization.

Miss Teen USA seeks women who are “savvy, goal-oriented and aware,” according to its website.

Hay graduated from Tomball High School this year and “hopes to enroll at Texas A&M University.” She aspires to be a businesswoman and wants to advocate for people affected by drug and alcohol abuse, according to her pageant profile.

Kamie Crawford, a former Miss Teen USA, tweeted some advice: “If u win any pageant - first things first. Clean up ur page.”

The pageant had already come under some criticism over the lack of diversity. The top five contestants for the title were fair, blonde women, which had Chrissy Teigen jokingly tweeting: “Wow how can we choose from such a diverse bunch.”