Miss SA hopeful withdraws from pageant after offensive tweets resurface
Bianca Schoombee caused an uproar on Twitter when crude and racist remarks she made as a teen were circulated online
Miss South Africa 2021 hopeful Bianca Schoombee has withdrawn her entry from the pageant after outrage caused by a series of offensive tweets she posted as a teenager.
Schoombee came under fire on social media on Tuesday night when users shared tweets she posted in 2014 where she made offensive and racist remarks and used the N-word several times.
Bianca said she’s ready to be #MissSA2020 & Black Twitter went back as far as 2013 just to prove that once tweeted racists tweets & she’s been body shaming others therefore #BiancaMustFall hai this App. #MissSA2020 #Bianca #BiancaSchoombee pic.twitter.com/9rKJ6CC7sD— Man’s NOT Barry Roux (@AdvoBarryRoux) May 20, 2020
The old tweets sparked outrage on social media, with many people calling for her removal from the pageant over the offending comments.
Schoombee initially tried to downplay the issue, saying she was “devastated” that someone dug up old tweets which displayed her “childhood in a negative light”.
Minutes later, however, she issued an apology, explaining that the tweets she made as a 14-year-old were not a reflection of who she is today and expressing hope that the public would forgive her, as she has forgiven herself and “moved on”.
Tweeps rejected the apology and remained relentless in their calls for her withdrawal.
SYNC Models, an agency claiming to represent Schoombee, confirmed in a tweet that the Miss SA hopeful had opted to withdraw from the competition. The agency added that it “supports her decision”.
The organisers of the Miss SA pageant also commented on the issue, saying that though no shortlisting of candidates had been done — as the competition was still open — “our rules state that any semi-finalist or finalist may not have been involved in any unsavoury or unethical incidents or conduct that may bring the organisers or the Miss South Africa pageant into disrepute.
“Unsavoury or unethical conduct includes, but is not limited to, bribery, racism, sexism, slander or libel.”
Schoombee has since issued another apologetic statement on Twitter. She writes that she hopes that those who were offended by her old posts can find it in their hearts to "forgive the views of a teenager, who has grown immensely and is on the road to rebuild herself as a South African who embodies the essence of our democracy".