Miss USA and Miss Teen USA resign days apart, casting a spotlight on the organization

The 2023 Miss USA and Miss Teen USA relinquished their crowns within days of each other this week, leaving their parent organization without its two biggest titleholders — and under mounting scrutiny.

The BBC reports the resignations of Miss USA, Noella Voigt of Utah, and Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia Srivastava of New Jersey, within days of each other. Srivastava was also crowned in September 2023 — and said her resignation comes after “months of grappling with this decision.”

Prior to their resignations, a third employee resigned, “Miss USA’s social media director, Claudia Michelle, announced her own exit from the brand, citing alleged “workplace toxicity and bullying” and saying that titleholders “should be heard and not silenced“.

She expressed her gratitude for her seven months as Miss USA, which she said gave her a “platform … to make a difference” as well as realise a “lifelong dream” and meeting “people all over the world.” 

The Miss USA Organization thanked Ms Voigt and said on Instagram that “the well-being of our titleholders is a top priority” The organisation said it was reviewing plans for the “transition of responsibilities to a successor”.

Miss Teen USA, UmaSofia Srivastava, left, and Miss USA, Noelia Voigt pictured at a New York Fashion Week event in February. They both announced their resignations this week.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Supermodels Unlimited

Per NPR, their departures are the latest in a string of recent controversies at the Miss USA and Miss Universe organizations and have prompted a slew of state titleholders to publicly pressure the pageant for more transparency.

The organization has not responded to NPR’s requests for comment. But the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Instagram accounts each acknowledged their titleholders’ departures, in near-identical posts, thanking them for their service and wishing them the best.