Entertainment behind the scenes
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?
While Prejean, 21, hit the headlines last month for her opposition to gay marriage, it was the emergence of topless photos of the beauty queen that threw her reign into doubt.
At a packed news conference in New York City on Tuesday, Miss USA pageant owner Donald Trump said he had viewed the photos, some of which he described as beautiful and others as risque, and deemed them acceptable.
On Sunday night, Miss North Carolina Kristen Dalton was crowned Miss USA, but all the talk on Monday was about how runner-up, Miss California Carrie Prejean, fueled the gay marriage debate by saying during the telecast that she does not agree with same-sex weddings.
On Monday, Prejean told Access Hollywood that she sticks by her answer, despite the uproar from gay rights supporters.