During the opening minutes of the 2019 Miss America Competition on ABC, Miss Michigan Emily Sioma shamed her home state for the Flint water crisis instead of introducing herself. The move was widely applauded on Twitter.
“from the state with 84 percent of the u.s. fresh water but none for its residents to drink, i am miss michigan emily sioma” — the new #missamerica2019 pageant did not come to play pic.twitter.com/H05eifix2e— alex rees (@maybealexislost) September 10, 2018
When Simoa came to the microphone stand at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, she did not say anything about herself. Instead, she told the crowd she is "from the state with 84 percent of the U.S. fresh water, but none for its residents to drink."
Audiences at home were stunned by Simoa.
"YESSSS MISS MICHIGAN TELLIN THE TRUTH," one viewer wrote.
"#MissMichigan broke template. 'From a state with 84% of the US fresh water but none for its residents to drink,'" another viewer wrote.
Many praised Sioma for using her chance on live national television to speak out.
I’ve never been to Michigan a day in my life, but I’m already rooting for Miss Michigan! That’s right girl, speak out!!! #MissAmerica2019— Rue (@TwittHappenz) September 10, 2018
"Wow. Miss Michigan is the bomb," added another viewer.
Wow. Miss Michigan is the bomb. #MissAmerica— 🍍me🏁🏎 (@inthedirtySC) September 10, 2018
Unfortunately for Sioma, she did not make it past the top 15, despite her eye-opening opening statement.
The Flint water crisis is not the only social cause Sioma has taken up. According to MLive, she also wore a pin reading "I believe you" to show support to victims of sexual assault while on her way to Atlantic City.
According to her posts on the Miss Michigan Instagram page, Sioma is a graduate of the University of Michigan. She majored in Women's Studies.
The Flint water crisis has been ongoing since 2014, when lead began appearing in drinking water for the residents of Flint, Michigan after the water source was changed to the Flint River. Although water quality got better in early 2017, residents are still forced to drink from bottled water until lead pipes are replaced.
Last month, a judge ruled that former Michigan Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon will be charged with the deaths of two men tied to the crisis, reports CNN.
Photo credit: ABC Broadcasting Inc.