Former Miss USA 2008 winner Crystle Stewart will become the national director of the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant system, making her the first Black person to ever hold the licensing rights to the pageants, Good Morning America reported Wednesday.
“I’m so thrilled and I’m so excited for the new things and new ideas that I want to bring to the Miss USA system,” Stewart said in an interview with Good Morning America.
The former titleholder, actress and entrepreneur said she will work assiduously to boost the brand, saying it would be like “UFC times America’s Next Top Model times the presidential elections. That’d be the new Miss USA.”
Since its founding in 1952, Miss Universe and Miss USA have always been run by the Miss Universe Organization. For the first time, the two have separated management, a report noted. “In this political climate, the racial injustice, I hope being this African American for this national company inspires and influences women like myself of different colors and races, and also men as well, to pursue your dreams without fault and with confidence and go for it and reach higher and larger,” Stewart said.
The first pageant that will take place under the former beauty queen’s leadership will be Miss USA 2021 and Miss Teen USA 2021.
Stewart became Miss USA in 2008 and went on to become an actress and model. She featured in various projects including Acrimony directed by Tyler Perry, For Better or Worse and Too Close to Home. She is also behind the Miss Academy, a pageant training school with her husband Max Sebrechts in Houston. The actress and entrepreneur is now set to take on her new leadership role for the Miss USA and Miss Teen USA pageant system.
Miss Universe Organization president Paula Shugart said Stewart exemplifies the best qualities in a Miss USA. “…I am so excited for the women who will grow under her guidance and mentorship, and for our state directors, who will have a loyal partner in Crystle,” said Shugart in an Instagram post, further explaining Stewart’s role.
“Crystle will be a licensee just as we have licensees all around the world. We have been working on this for quite a while and I am excited it has become a reality.”