Controversy is brewing around the newly crowned Miss Washington Teen USA, Kate Dixon, after a video resurfaced of the teen shortly after she won the competition. In the video, she is seen on camera and heard using a racial slur, and lip-syncing about drug use and bullying.
A tipster sent FOX 13 News a video which we’ve blurred other teens and bleeped any inappropriate language.
We reached out to Kate, and she tells FOX 13 that three years ago, she was in a car with upperclassmen, and she was peer pressured into saying the N-word. She says she did not know she was being recorded when she said it.
Kate says a week later, it was posted to social media, and it spread from there.
"They coerced me into saying a racial slur. I told them ‘no, I don’t want to say that,’" said Kate. "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."
Kate and her mother say she publicly apologized at school and numerous times after that, but she says she was bullied and received death threats. She says she has since transferred to a different school, but says the video resurfaces every time she achieves something.
She told FOX 13 she wanted to address this head-on, hoping to use this as part of her platform of promoting positivity.
"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," Kate said. "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."
FOX 13 also spoke with the executive producer of Pageants Northwest, an agency that oversees four states in the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA organizations. Pageants Northwest says it became aware of the video in October 2020.
Kate and her family spoke with them about the video before she began competing for the teen title three years ago. After that discussion, they weighed the options of accepting Kate’s application to become a contestant.
In the end, they allowed her to compete over the past few years, saying part of the pageant’s mission is empowering people to quote: "be the best versions of themselves."
"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?" said Maureen Francisco.
This push for positivity is a new emphasis from Kate’s previously stated platform as a pageant contestant where she stated her support for Lutheran Ministries, Friends of Youth, and a camp for estranged siblings.
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