New Miss USA winner Asya
Branch has recently come to spotlight and the reason is slightly controversial.
Apparently, she was obligated to sing and perform at a Trump rally during her
term as Miss Mississippi. Being an up and coming model, it’s not exactly the right
reason to be in under the radar for.
Right after Asya got
declared the winner of Miss USA, a video of her started making rounds on social
media where she was singing a National Anthem at a Donald Trump rally. Of
course, the photo has since been deleted from Branch’s personal Instagram
The picture was
originally posted on 2ND October 2018, showing her singing at the
podium while wearing her tiara and sash. At the time, she had only won the Miss
Mississippi title and was under contract with Miss America – an organization
different from Miss USA.
Alongside the photo,
the model wrote in her caption that she considered it an honor to sing the
national anthem in Southaven at President Trump’s rally. She also used the
emoji of the American flag and used POTUS in the hashtag. The screenshot of the
post was later shared by Daily Beast.
She was, of course, asked
about the video that was surfacing online to which she responded that she was
contractually obligated to sing at the rally. She clarified that people don’t
realize that a lot of times when people are contractually bounded with an
organization, they’re forced to do things which they don’t genuinely agree with.
And later she added that even though her performance was at Trump’s rally and
strictly contractual, she was honored that she got the chance to sing the
Now let’s not forget
that Donald Trump supports and once had control of the Miss Universe Organization – it was
eventually sold to WME/IMG in 2015 when NBC decided to end their contract. This
revelation was made by Forbes.
Karen Jones is the
business manager for Miss Mississippi in the Miss America ecosystem, and while
speaking to Insider, she confirmed that Asya Branch was booked by the
organization to sing at Trump’s rally back in 2018.
She also revealed that
Jones had Miss Mississippi sing at President Barack Obama’s appearance at the
National Prayer Breakfast once. So basically, all these girls are comfortable
with traveling as it is part of their job.
Furthermore, she said
that as a titleholder, employees at their organization represent the entire
state so anyone can book them for an event – of course, if their schedule has a
room for it.
Jones tried to explain
the situation. She said she has had employees who’ve met senators and governors,
regardless of their political beliefs, and they’ve made their appearance with
utmost grace and dignity.
When she spoke of Asya,
she said that she is one of the most professional models under her
organizations and that she has a genuine soul. She knows how to put aside her
own ego and opinions to get the job done.
Some people on social
media also pointed out that Branch had also made an appearance at a roundtable
with Donald Trump and Jared Kushner at the White House to talk about the First
Step Act. The Act was a bipartisan criminal justice reform bill which was to be
signed into the law in December 2018.
Talking about the
roundtable, Asya said that it was an incredible opportunity for her to be given
a platform to make real change or at least be part of it. She said that she
feels passionate about the subject and when the bill passed, she felt
responsible for something truly impeccable.
I think, as a nation, it’s just important that we focus on what really matters
and we let go of the hatred. And we just focus on us as the people, and what we
can do using our voices.” – She said.
While we’re talking
about Branch’s meetings with Donald Trump, it’s also important to bring
attention to the work her organization is making possible. The Miss USA platform
is recognized for helping children of incarcerated parents, so Branch feels a tremendous amount of responsibility to not only speak on the subject to bring
awareness but also open a conversation about how it must be to grow up in a
world where your father is in prison.
In the same interview,
Branch revealed that her father was also incarcerated for 10 years and it was
his experience that encouraged her to advocate for this criminal reform.
“That was probably one of the greatest
decisions I ever made. Because it helped me grow and helped me inspire people,
and motivate them and give them a sense of hope.”
– Branch Said.
She was also asked
about Trump’s and chances of winning to which she responded that she values the
decision of America and whatever they decide, as a democratic nation, it would
be respected. She said that the people
have voted and that’s exactly our purpose. We, as citizens of America, have the
responsibility and right to decide our own leader. Hence, the power to vote
must not be taken lightly. She said that all voices deserve to be heard.
When a representative
for the Trump campaign was asked for a comment, no response was provided.
So how much do you like Miss America 2020 now?