Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – The new Miss Teen USA calls her use of racist language on social media a “careless mistake,” saying she was influenced by friends.

The 18-year-old Texan Karlie Hay, in a Good Morning Amer-ica interview last week, apolo-gized for her tweets in 2013 and 2014 that used the N-word.

The posts were unearthed hours after she was crowned the winner of the beauty pag-eant Saturday in Las Vegas.

Hay said she’s ashamed and that she was being a follower, trying to fit in with friends and influenced by the music she lis-tened to.

The beauty queen said she has since grown up and hopes that others will learn from her mistake.

The Miss Universe Organiza-tion condemned the tweets but has stood by her as critics called for Hay to lose her crown.