COLUMBIA, S.C. — Be original and funny.
Those were the directions for state introductions during The Miss America pageant.
The instructions didn’t say to tout what represents the state best, or what the state is most proud of, said Brooke Mosteller, the Mount Pleasant woman who represented South Carolina in Sunday’s Miss America pageant.
In her introduction in the pageant she said South Carolina was the state “where 20 percent of our homes are mobile because that’s how we roll.”
And social media lit up with reactions from South Carolina residents over the statement.
“It was a misguided attempt at humor and I really regret that I said it,” she said.
Even though the statement was not Mosteller’s idea, she took responsibility for it.
“I did not create it, but I was the one who, ultimately, decided to say it,” she said.
She had a few different lines she could use written by directors of the Miss South Carolina Scholarship Organization including:
-- We sell the most peaches in the South. Sorry Georgia
-- Home of Hootie & The Blowfish. (singing) Hoooold myyyy hand
And when she heard the mobile homes line, she thought the joke was “a little bit funny,” but had hesitations.
She thought it could be taken offensively, she said.
But it is the line she decided to use and everyone she talked to at the Miss America pageant, including the script writer and other contestants, thought it was more funny than offensive, she said.
“That was the world I was living in,” she said.
She did not have her cell phone to consult anyone outside of the pageant.
“I had all these great things to say about us and this is what I went and did,” she said.
And it only took seven seconds.
“These seven seconds have overridden everything else that was good at Miss America,” Mosteller said.
She was voted Miss Congeniality at Miss America and Miss South Carolina and she was one of the top fund-raisers for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.
But she said she learned a hard lesson.
“It’s been really hard to know that I had my national chance to represent the state and I hurt and embarrassed some people,” she said.