Miss USA pageant winner hailed for addressing 'Me Too' movement during contest
'As an attorney, that’s exactly what I want to hear, and that’s exactly what I want for this country,' Cheslie Kryst says
Cheslie Kryst, a 28-year-old from Charlotte in North Carolina was asked during the final night of the pageant whether she thought #MeToo movement had gone “too far”.
“I don’t think these movements have gone too far,” Ms Kryst responded. “What #MeToo and #TimesUp are about are making sure that we foster safe and inclusive workplaces in our country."
As an attorney, she added "that is exactly what I want to hear, and that is exactly what I want for this country. I think they are good movements”.
One of the most visible and widespread feminist movement of recent times, the #MeToo movement rose to prominence in late 2017 after a series of sexual assault allegations were made against powerful men including Miramax founder Harvey Weinstein.
The disgraced producer has been accused by dozens of women of sexual misconduct and faces rape charges in New York. He denies those charges.
Millions of women around the world have also shared their own stories of rape, assault and harassment using the hashtag.
Ms Kryst practices civil litigation for a law firm and also does free legal work for prisoners who might have been sentenced unjustly, supporting them to pursue reduced punishments, according to her biography on Miss USA’s website.
She has been hailed for comments about the #MeToo movement on Twitter.
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate, chimed in to make it clear she agreed with Ms Kryst.
Asked for one word to describe her generation, Ms Kryst said: “I would say that my generation is innovative. I’m standing here in Nevada, in the state that has the first majority female legislature in this entire country.
“Mine is the first generation to have that forward-looking mindset that has inclusivity, diversity, and strength and empowered women. I’m looking forward to continued progress with my generation.”
Ms Kryst has a law degree and a master’s of business administration degree from North Carolina’s Wake Forest University, as well as an undergraduate business degree from the University of South Carolina.
The pageant winner, who was a track athlete at the latter, has a fashion blog called White Collar Glam. According to the Miss Universe website, she was moved to start the blog after “struggling to fund appropriate, affordable and professional clothing” and she plans to start a workwear clothing line one day.