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Miss Hawaii's Mom Rushes to Her Defense After Fans Slammed Decision to Take Crown: 'I Have Raised a Warrior'

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Source: @savannahmarai/instagram

Fans of the pageant have since spoken out against Savannah Gankiewicz's choice to assume the role as she prepares for her celebratory coronation in her home state of Hawaii on May 15.

May 14 2024, Published 4:00 p.m. ET

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Miss Hawaii Savannah Gankiewicz announced that she accepted the crown after former Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt stepped down to focus on her mental health, sparking intense backlash online that led her mother, Yvienne Peterson, to rush to her defense.

"I accept the crown knowing that I have been uplifted by my supporters, family, friends, and the people of Hawaii throughout this journey," Gankiewicz shared in her statement, revealing it was not a decision made lightly and that she fully supports Voigt's decision and stands in solidarity with the former title holder.

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savannah gankiewicz
Source: @savannahmarai/instagram

"I accept the crown knowing that I have been uplifted by my supporters, family, friends, and the people of Hawaii throughout this journey," Gankiewicz shared in her statement.

Fans of the pageant have since spoken out against Gankiewicz's choice to assume the role as she prepares for her celebratory coronation in her home state of Hawaii on May 15, RadarOnline.com has learned.

"Where is the dignity?" one naysayer questioned. "This has nothing to do with Savannah as a person but this is not a good look for anyone involved," another wrote.

"Sisterhood is officially dead, we gotta do better as a collective," a third critic said.

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Source: @savannahmarai/instagram

"Where is the dignity?" one naysayer questioned.

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Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava notably stepped down last week and the runner-up, Miss Teen New York Stephanie Skinner, does not want the crown either, it has been revealed. Social media manager Claudia Michelle had also previously resigned from her post prior to the controversy.

Sources told The New York Post that the women had been "bullied" by the organization's CEO, Laylah Rose, which Rose has vehemently denied. "All along, my personal goal as the head of this organization has been to inspire women to always create new dreams, have the courage to explore it all, and continue to preserve integrity along the way," Rose shared in her statement.

Peterson, meanwhile, spoke out in her own message alongside a photo of her daughter.

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Miss Teen USA UmaSofia Srivastava notably stepped down last week and the runner-up, Miss Teen New York Stephanie Skinner, does not want the crown either.

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"I tell my children…take every opportunity thrown your way, run with it as those are the blessings that God has put in your path. Live life with NO regrets!" she wrote. "Rewards never come without struggle and pain."

Peterson stated that in recent days, her family has "suffered watching our daughter get bullied and harassed for stepping up and doing the difficult task of completing the reign of Miss USA 2023." Peterson continued, "However she will prevail. I raised a warrior Queen."

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"What they went through was nothing detrimental," she commented on her daughter's post, referring to Voigt. "Yes, unfortunately, they may have had to ride Spirit airlines, yes, they may have had their boss tell them that some of their posts were not [on] brand … but if that was the worst … maybe they have forgotten what their primary role was and that was to be a role model for women."

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She told critics, "If you are a true supporter of women, you will support women and the hard decisions they make on a daily!"

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