Entertainment behind the scenes
After Miss California firing, what’s next for Carrie Prejean?
Now that Miss USA beauty pageant runner-up Carrie Prejean has been ousted as Miss California, what is next for the college student who became a poster woman for supporters of traditional marriage? It has been a tumultuous couple of months for Prejean, ever since her televised answer in response to a question about gay marriage, in which she said that she does not agree with it.
Miss California pageant officials say that the 22-year-old Prejean’s firing has nothing to do with her political stance on gay marriage (even though they disagree with it) and everything to do with her violating her contract and refusing to make appearances. For her part, Prejean told celebrity news website TMZ.com on Wednesday that her elimination by pageant officials was, indeed, political.
“They don’t agree with the stance that I took …” Prejean told TMZ. “They don’t like me. From day one they wanted me out and they got what they wanted.”
A spokeswoman for Prejean was not immediately available.
Gay rights advocates describe Prejean as simply a telegenic spokeswoman for discrimination. But she also has her supporters among conservatives, who call her public support for traditional marriage brave. As a result of the gay marriage controversy, her public profile has far outstripped that of Miss USA, Kristen Dalton of North Carolina. Will Prejean’s being stripped of her title by Miss California pageant organizers simply raise her profile more than if she had kept the sash?
Back in April, Prejean signed on with the National Organization for Marriage, a group opposed to same-sex marriage, to appear in a political television advertisement that re-broadcast her comment about gay marriage. But at the time, Prejean made it clear that her appearance in the TV spot did not mean she was a spokeswoman for the organization. Following her firing as Miss California, the National Organization for Marriage said that “Carrie will be free to define her own mission and message from now on.”
Does that mean that she will once again take to the airwaves to support traditional marriage? If so, will her views have a real effect on the national debate over gay marriage? Or will she just be another pretty face?