Everything to Know About Their Resignations? Why Are Miss USA and Miss Teen USA Stepping Down

Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava resigned from their titles within days of each other in May 2024, leading people to question what informed their decisions

Published Time: 10.05.2024 - 17:31:10 Modified Time: 10.05.2024 - 17:31:10

Miss USA 2023 Noelia Voigt and Miss Teen USA 2023 UmaSofia Srivastava resigned from their titles within days of each other in May 2024, leading people to question what informed their decisions.

While Voigt said her choice was to protect her mental health, Srivastava explained that she chose to resign because her “personal values no longer fully align with the direction of the organization,” she wrote in her Instagram statement.

Prior to both of their resignations, another employee of the Miss USA organization, the social media director, also resigned from her post. She claimed in a statement that the organization did not support her role or offer enough respect to the titleholders.

“I feel the way current management speaks about their titleholders is unprofessional and inappropriate,” she wrote in her statement on Instagram, adding, “I disavow workplace toxicity and bullying of any kind.”

Following Voigt’s resignation, the Miss USA organization thanked Voigt for her time in the role and wished her well in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.

"The well-being of our titleholders is a top priority, and we understand her need to prioritize herself at this time," the statement read. "We are currently reviewing plans for the transition of responsibilities to a successor, and we will soon announce the crowning of the new Miss USA."

From what they said about resigning to how the Miss USA organization has responded, here’s everything to know about why the Miss USA pageant queens are resigning.

Voigt became Miss USA in September 2023 after she made history as the first Venezuelan-American woman to win the Miss Utah title. She was runner-up in the state competition three times before finally cinching the prize.

“It would've been very easy for anybody to get first runner up three times and just say, ‘Oh, I'm done. I can't do this anymore.’ But for me, it wasn't that way,” Voigt told PEOPLE in October 2023. “I knew I had to keep pushing forward and keep pushing through."

In September, she made her dream come true when she was named Miss USA.

"I am honored to be the first Venezuelan-American woman to hold the title of Miss Utah USA, and I am truly looking forward to breaking barriers and bridging the gap between communities by being able to speak Spanish and connect with the large Hispanic population in Utah," she wrote on Instagram in July 2023.

Since then, Voigt has fulfilled her beauty queen duties, attending speaking engagements at the Capitol and working with philanthropic organizations.

Her younger counterpart, Srivastava, won the Miss Teen USA title the same day, also making history as the first Mexican-Indian woman and first New Jersey contestant to win the pageant.

"IS THIS REAL??? I am so grateful and honored that I’m the first Mexican-Indian, first New Jersey, your MISS TEEN USA 2023!!!" the high school student wrote on Instagram. "This night is truly the best night of my life because I was crowned with the people that have loved and supported me throughout everything cheering for me in the audience."

While Srivastava has also focused on her philanthropic efforts, she has continued life as a regular high school student, attending prom and studying for exams.

In May 2024, Srivastava told PEOPLE she was heads down in preparing for her AP exams while attending a philanthropic gala.

"It's AP exam week and tomorrow I have my AP U.S. history exam — I'm like freaking out," she said. "The notebook is going to come out tonight."

Voigt announced her resignation in May 2024 with a statement she posted on her Instagram. She explained that “our health is our wealth,” and she advised her followers to “never compromise your physical and mental well-being.”

"In life, I strongly value the importance of making decisions that feel best for you and your mental health," she wrote. "My journey as Miss USA has been incredibly meaningful, representing Utah with pride, and later the USA at Miss Universe. Sadly, I have made the very tough decision to resign from the title of Miss USA 2023."

Though she did not elaborate on why she was resigning, internet sleuths pointed out that the first letter of each of the sentences in her statement spelled out “I am silenced,” leading people to wonder whether she was hiding a secret message, per NBC.

Just days after her resignation, Voigt spoke to PEOPLE about her decision and her hopes to continue advocating for mental health in the future.

"I'm really overwhelmed and grateful for the support that I've been receiving," she said. "I'm always going to be an advocate for mental health awareness and support."

She continued, "So the fact that I've been able to shed a light on that and be someone that people can look up to in that sense and let people know that if something isn't good for you, it's okay to step away from it, then I'm grateful to be that beacon of light for people."

Two days after Voigt’s resignation -

, Srivastava also announced on Instagram that she was stepping down from her title due to her “personal values” no longer aligning with the brand.

“After months of grappling with this decision, I have made the choice to resign from the title of Miss Teen USA 2023,” she wrote. “I am grateful for all the support from my family, my state directors, my sister queens, and the fans who have cheered me on since I won my state title. I will always look back on my time as Miss NJ Teen USA fondly, and the experience of representing my state as a first generation, Mexican-Indian American at the national level was fulfilling in itself.”

Later that same day, Srivastava attended an event where she elaborated on her decision to step away from the role.

"It definitely was not my first choice to resign. Unfortunately, I can't say much more at this time. But I would like to say that it's a decision that took a lot of careful thinking — and ultimately, I'm excited to see what's next," she told PEOPLE.

She added that her future included college and preparing for exams.

"I'm a junior in high school and I'm gonna be applying to colleges," Srivastava said. "So I'm excited to explore my future and find what makes me me again."

A day after her resignation, Voigt revealed to PEOPLE that she did not know Srivastava was planning to resign, so the announcement took her by surprise.

"I actually didn't know that she was going to do that, so it was surprising, and again, there's not too much that I can say about it, but we are very, very close," she said. "We were at an event together last night and we're both feeling incredibly optimistic about the future and what that holds for both of us individually and together."

Voigt added that Srivastava has a bright future ahead of her, with the goal of being a diplomat for the Department of Defense.

"She is really a truly incredible human being, and I could not be more proud of her for really showing her generation, teenagers, Gen Z, that it's also okay to step away from things that aren't good for you anymore," Voigt told PEOPLE.

Before either Voigt or Srivastava resigned, former social media director Claudia Michelle announced on Instagram that she would be stepping down from her role. She claimed that the organization promised her a team to work with when she was hired — which she alleged was not the case when she signed on — and that they did not pay her for the first two months of work.

Michelle noted that “being offered your dream job and seeing that it was anything but was so disheartening” before adding that since she had not signed any NDAs or contracts, she could speak freely on what she thought was the disrespectful treatment of the titleholders.

“I have had the privilege of getting to work with Noelia closely and have unfortunately seen a decline in her mental health since we first met,” she wrote. “I feel like her ability to share her story and her platform has been diminished.”

She added that she also saw the “disrespect towards Uma and her family” and how Voigt and Srivastava were “unable to share about their personal advocacies on social media.”

“I don’t believe in taking sides. I believe in telling the truth,” Michelle concluded. “I believe Noelia and Uma’s mental health and happiness has taken a toll and I cannot remain silent about that.”

Following Michelle’s statement, Miss USA CEO and President Laylah Rose provided a statement to PEOPLE, writing, “Our all-encompassing goal at Miss USA is to celebrate and empower women. Our participants make a real difference in this country and around the globe.”

“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,” the statement continued. 

“I hold myself to these same high standards and I take these allegations seriously. Please be assured that the well-being of all individuals associated with Miss USA is my top priority,” it concluded.

After Voigt’s resignation, her peers in the Miss USA class of 2023 voiced their support, with Miss Florida USA Caroline Dixon posting their statement on Instagram.

“The majority of the members of the Miss USA class of 2023 supports Noelia Voigt’s decision to resign from the title of Miss USA,” it read. “Prioritizing one’s mental health is of the utmost importance, and we stand behind her.”

The statement went on to call on the organization to release Voigt from “the confidentiality NDA clause of her contract” so that she could speak freely on her experiences.

“Our goal is to give Noelia her voice back,” they wrote. “We are asking for full transparency for contestants in the class of 2024 and beyond.”

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