For the second year in a row, Miss D.C. won the crown at the Miss USA pageant. Miss District of Columbia Kara McCullough, a 25-year-old scientist who works at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was crowned Miss USA 2017 last night. She will go on to compete in the Miss Universe contest.
Miss Minnesota was the second runner up and Miss New Jersey was runner up for the title.
Dancing With the Stars Julianne Hough and actor Terrence J hosted the competition that featured dance numbers by the 51 competitors, as well as performances from Pitbull and Brett Eldredge. The show also featured a performance by Cirque du Soleil’s Michael Jackson ONE. Halima Aden, Carson Kressley, Brooke Lee, Nancy Lublin, Jeannie Mai and Janet Mock were on the judging panel.
McCullough caused a firestorm on social media after she gave conservative answers to questions – saying she wasn’t a feminist and that she thought people need to have a job to have health care.
“I’m definitely going to say it’s a privilege,” McCullough said, when asked if access to medical care was a right, as liberals such as Sen. Bernie Sanders say, or a privilege, as many conservatives say.
She then added, “As a government employee, I’m granted health care and I see firsthand that for one to have health care, you need to have jobs.”
Later in the competition, McCullough, and two other challengers were asked to explain what they consider feminism to be and whether they consider themselves feminists. McCullough replied that she likes to “transpose” the word feminism to “equalism.” “I don’t want to call myself a feminist,” McCullough said. “Women, we are just as equal as men, especially in the workplace.” #MissUSA trended on Twitter, as many users criticized her answers.
“#MissUSA Miss DC just lost me with that answer….Affordable healthcare is a privilege? Girl bye,” tweeted a user named @dazella_may.
“DC just disqualified herself with that answer #MissUSA,” a user named Keeni Rodgers piled.
Others rushed to defend her.
“Black people hating on #MissUSA because of conservative positions need to stop acting like owned brainwashed slaves to the left,” a user named Darnell Wesh said of McCullough, who is African American.