One of three Miss Universe contestants caught up in a racism scandal in 2018 has opened up about the moment she felt her career had ended.

Francesca Hung, 25, spoke to Stella Magazine about the moment she was filmed talking about non-English speaking contestants along with two other girls.

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They called Miss Vietnam "cute" and said that competing as a non-English speaker must be "confusing".


It led to global outrage, as the girls were called "racist" and "bigoted" after it appeared they were mocking the other contestants.

Now former Miss Australia Hung says the moment left her feeling "completely alone" - the video, posted to both Miss USA and Miss Colombia's Instagram accounts, could end her career.

But with Hung recently announced as E! Australia's new host, replacing Ksenija Lukich, it clearly didn't, despite her feeling that her reputation would never recover.

"That was a very low moment," she told the magazine, as she recalled waking up to thousands of messages.

"I was crying, I didn't have any family or friends with me. I was completely alone. I remember thinking I was doomed, and that my career was over before it had really even started."

The Instagram Live video mocked Miss Vietnam H'Hen Nie and Miss Cambodia Rern Sinat for speaking poor English.

"Could you imagine? Like Francesca said, that would be so isolating, and I said yes, and I mean, just confusing all the time," Miss USA Sarah Rose Summers said.

Hung nodded and said, "it would be really hard".


Summers then called Miss Vietnam "cute" and laughed at her English skills.

"She pretends to know so much English," she said.

An Instagram live video showed Hung laughing with her peers mocking some of the contestants about their English skills. Photo / Instagram
An Instagram live video showed Hung laughing with her peers mocking some of the contestants about their English skills. Photo / Instagram

Hung didn't comment but she appeared to be laughing along with the other girls.

Since the scandal, she's spoken up about online trolling and "cancel culture".

"I would never want anyone to feel what I felt ... Cancel culture is not helpful. Humans make mistakes."

Hung admitted she'd faced discrimination herself for her Asian heritage, despite having a privileged childhood in Sydney's northern suburbs.


"When I went to primary school, there was one other Asian student," she said. "So I think that defined my insecurities growing up."

Hung, whose Australian-born dad Philip has Chinese descent, now takes pride in her background. "I get to celebrate two cultures.

"When I meet someone of a different ethnicity, there is a common feeling. We support each other. Every win for them feels like a win for yourself."