Miss Universe Australia defends 'bullying' livestream after backlash

Miss Universe contestant Francesca Hung has defended herself after being accused of making fun of fellow contestants’ lack of English.

The current Miss Universe Australia was recorded making the comments in a now expired Instagram Live video alongside Miss UA and Miss Colombia.

But Francesca insists that the conversation was taken out of context and made to seem like something it wasn’t.

Miss Universe Australia Francesca Hung has defended herself after being accused of making fun of fellow contestants. Photo: Instagram/Francesca Hung

“I’m so upset that this situation has misconstrued like this,” she tells The Daily Telegraph. “We were merely saying it must be even more difficult at times not to have a single other delegate able to speak [Cambodian language Khumer].”

She added: “Which in fact, makes Nat [Miss Cambodia] an even stronger contender”.

The trio’s conversation was called out on Instagram because of comment Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers was heard making.

“What do you think about Miss Vietnam?” Sarah asks her friends, before laughing, “…and she pretends to know so much English and you ask her a question after having a whole conversation with her and she goes… [smiles and nods].”

The footage has gone viral on social media, with hundreds calling out the women’s unsavoury behaviour.

Popular Instagram page Diet Prada, posted the footage alongside another two videos of Sarah, this time speaking about Miss Cambodia.

Australia’s Miss Universe competitor Francesca Hung with Miss USA. Photo: Instagram/francesca.hung

In the first she showers her fellow contestant in praise in a piece to camera thanking her own Cambodian fans for their support.

“Hi Cambodia, thank you so much for your support, I met your Miss Cambodia and she is beautiful!”

Meanwhile in the second, she’s seen pitying Miss Cambodia to the same two friends. “Miss Cambodia is here and doesn’t speak any English, and not a single other person speaks her language,” she says, “Poor Cambodia.”

Sarah has since taken to her Instagram page to apologise for her behaviour.

@MissUniverse is an opportunity for women from around the world to learn about each other’s cultures, life experiences, and views,” she wrote.

“We all come from different backgrounds and can grow alongside one another.  In a moment where I intended to admire the courage of a few of my sisters, I said something that I now realize can be perceived as not respectful, and I apologize.

“My life, friendships, and career revolve around me being a compassionate and empathetic woman. I would never intend to hurt another. I am grateful for opportunities to speak with Nat, Miss Cambodia, and H’Hen, Miss Vietnam, directly about this experience. These are the moments that matter most to me.”

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