Ousted Miss Michigan was once a University of Central Florida student

Ousted Miss Michigan was once a University of Central Florida student
via Twitter screengrab
The newly crowned Miss Michigan got her title taken away, and she says it’s in part because of a tweet she made while she studied at UCF.

Kathy Zhu, self-proclaimed “independent thinker” and “political commentator,” took to Twitter last week to say Miss World America accused her of being “racist, Islamaphobic and insensitive.”

“They stripped me of my Miss Michigan title due to my refusal to try on a hijab in 2018, my tweet about black on black gun violence, and "insensitive" statistical tweets,” Zhu posted last week on Twitter.
The hijab comment refers to an incident that occurred at UCF back in February 2018, when Zhu made a tweet criticizing the try a hijab on booth set up by the Muslim Student Association.
“There’s a ‘try a hijab on’ booth at my college campus. So you’re telling me that it’s now just a fashion accessory and not a religious thing? Or are you just trying to get women used to being oppressed under Islam?” her tweet, from February 2018, read.

It generated controversy even then, drawing thousands of Twitter responses and an article in the Orlando Sentinel. She later transferred to the University of Michigan.

Thursday's tweet from Zhu included an email that appeared to be addressed to her from Miss World America officials cutting off ties with the contestant.

It read that her social media accounts contained content violating the requirement that contestants have a “good character whose background is not likely to bring into disrepute Miss World America or any persons associated with the organization.”

“Therefore, and effective immediately, MWA does not recognize you as a participant of any sort or in any capacity as it relates to any and all events of MWA,” the letter continued.

Stay on top of Orlando news and views. Sign up for our weekly Headlines newsletter.


Since 1990, Orlando Weekly has served as the free, independent voice of Orlando, and we want to keep it that way.

Becoming an Orlando Weekly Supporter for as little as $5 a month allows us to continue offering readers access to our coverage of local news, food, nightlife, events, and culture with no paywalls.

Join today because you love us, too.

Scroll to read more Orlando Area News articles

Join Orlando Weekly Newsletters

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.