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Titleholders move in solidarity with Miss USA, Miss Teen USA after their resignations

Miss Colorado has now also stepped down, and the runner-up for Miss Teen USA has declined to take on the title.
Miss Teen USA resigns
Posted at 12:34 PM, May 14, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-14 15:34:48-04

After Miss USA and Miss Teen USA resigned just days apart, fellow titleholders are showing their solidarity.

Noelia Voigt stepped down from her post as Miss USA last week, followed by Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava. Voigt said she did not know at the time that Srivastava had similar plans, according to People.

Now, Miss Colorado Arianna Lemus says she is also resigning in support of her fellow pageant queens.

“I stand in solidarity with Noelia and UmaSofia, former Miss USA & Miss Teen USA 2023, as I step down from my role as Miss Colorado USA,” Lemus said in a statement posted to Instagram. “Noelia and UmaSofia's voices have been stifled by the constraints of a contract that undermines their rights and dignity. These remarkable women serve as a poignant reminder of the urgent need for reform within the Miss USA organization.”

Upon Srivastava’s exit, the title of Miss Teen USA was offered to runner-up Miss Teen New York USA Stephanie Skinner. But Skinner has declined the title.

“In light of recent events, I have decided to decline the title of Miss Teen USA 2023. This was not an easy decision. I hope for respect of my choice as this was a decision I never asked to make,” Skinner said in a statement on Instagram.

Skinner had also made prior commitments.

“My word is my everything. I gave my commitment to a global research career opportunity in Thailand that will require me to live abroad for the summer. In addition, although, I do not know exactly what Noelia and Uma went through to [lead] them to resign, I am sending them immense love and support,” Skinner said.

“What I do know is that my core values are integrity, honor, kindness, and most importantly I will always stand for female empowerment. I believe we all deserve the power to use our voices. If you know me, you know how much this meant to me and how much I sacrificed,” she continued.

Both the now-former Miss USA and Miss Teen USA gave somewhat vague reasons for stepping down. Voigt cited mental health, and Srivastava said her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization.” Each announced their resignations with statements on Instagram.

Many on the internet were quick to point out that Voigt’s statement appeared to have a message hidden within the text: The first letter of each sentence spelled out "I AM SILENCED.”

Voigt's mother told "Good Morning America" that her daughter did not receive support from the organization after receiving unwanted advances during an appearance at a Christmas parade.

The president of the Miss USA organization reportedly brushed off the incident by saying, "We cannot prevent people from saying things to you at public appearances," and did not show any empathy.

State titleholders have urged the Miss USA organization to release Voigt from her nondisclosure agreement so that she can speak out on the circumstances surrounding her sudden departure.

"Our goal is to give Noelia her voice back," the Miss USA class of 2023 said in a joint statement on social media. "We are asking for full transparency for contestants in the class of 2024 and beyond."

The Miss USA Organization addressed Voigt's resignation on Instagram, saying in part that they “respect and support Noelia’s decision to step down from her duties,” and that “the well-being of our titleholders is a top priority.”

Following Voigt’s exit, the Miss USA Organization appointed a new Miss USA 2023, announcing that Savannah Gankiewicz of Hawaii would take over the crown and duties of the role. A celebration in her honor will be held on May 15, the organization said on social media.

With Skinner declining the role of Miss Teen USA, there is no word yet on a replacement.

Scripps News has made numerous attempts to contact the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA organizations for comment.

Scripps News has also reached out to Lemus and Skinner regarding their decisions.

Miss USA Noelia Voigt.

U.S. News

Miss USA titleholders speak out after Noelia Voigt's sudden resignation

Scripps News Staff
2:49 PM, May 08, 2024