Viewers started attacking judge Laura Brown on Twitter for asking the question

By Julie Mazziotta
June 06, 2016 12:20 PM

Donald Trump may no longer own the Miss USA pageant, but he’s once again part of a controversy surrounding the show.

During the 2016 competition Sunday night, the producers slipped in a question, posed to Miss Hawaii Chelsea Hardin, asking if she would vote for Trump or Hillary Clinton for President. But the controversy isn’t surrounding Hardin’s answer – judge Laura Brown, executive editor at Harper’s Bazaar, who asked the question quickly found herself under attack on Twitter.

“If the election were held tomorrow, would you vote Hillary Clinton, or Donald Trump, for President, and why would you choose one over the other?” Brown asked Hardin, amid boos from the crowd.

Forcefully smiling through it, Hardin joked, “I would get that, right?” before answering, “All I have to say, is it doesn’t matter what gender. What we need in the United States is someone who represents those of us who don’t feel like we have a voice, those of us who want our voices heard. We need a president to push for what is right, and push for what America really needs.”

Twitter exploded with comments about the question, calling out Brown for asking a question many said should be private.

The boos continued, and when the show returned from a commercial break, co-host Terrence Jenkins clarified that Brown and the judges did not come up with the questions.

And Brown responded on Twitter, praising Hardin.

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Hardin later became the runner-up to winner Deshauna Barber, Miss D.C., with some Twitter users saying Hardin lost because of the voting question.

Hardin was thrilled regardless, telling Barber, “Yes, yes! I’m so proud of you!” when Barber was crowned the winner.