Entertainment

Bianca Schoombee withdraws from Miss SA amid furore over offensive tweets

Bianca Schoombee has withdrawn from Miss South Africa 2020 following a furore aver her past tweets, her agency SYNC Models has announced.

In a tweet on Wednesday, SYNC Models said, “Bianca Schoombee has decided to withdraw from the #MissSA2020 contest and SYNC Models supports her decision.”

Social media users have expressed outrage at Schoombee’s tweets that emerged on Tuesday, just a day after she announced that she had entered the beauty pageant.

Public apology

The tweets featured strong language, such as the N and B-words, as well as skin and body shaming. In one of the tweets, she commented on a picture of a young boy and wrote, “He’s so black they had to change the background to white.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Schoombee issued a public apology, saying she posted the tweets six years ago when she was 14 years old.

She added, “I would like to profusely apologise for putting it out to the universe then; however, I would like to make you all aware that I have grown as a person. This is no longer who I am or what I stand for.

“It’s important to forgive yourself. I really hope that SA can forgive me for these immature posts, as I have forgiven myself and moved on. I really do hope that you continue to support me, as we all deserve a second chance. I love you South Africa. God bless.”

‘Bianca is a winner’

SYNC Models had earlier vowed to continue representing Schoombee because she had “grown holistically as a person.”

It said, “When we signed Bianca in 2018, she still to this day represents exceptional qualities such as a positive outlook on life; extremely well mannered; strong work ethic; being poised, graceful and confident; [and] possesses the quality of a leader that is relatable.

“Bianca is a winner all the way no matter what. She is a leader that is adaptable and focused entirely on representing SA. SYNC Models will continue the representation of Bianca and support her endeavours leading up to @Official_MissSA. Thank you.”

Reacting to the controversy before Schoombee’s withdrawal, Miss South Africa CEO Stephanie Weil said the pageant will only assess entrants once the deadline for submissions, which is 31 May, has passed.

She added, “Once we have a selection of potential semi-finalists we run the necessary background checks. There is good governance in place to ensure that Miss South Africa finalists and semi-finalists align with our values.

“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.”

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