The matter came to a head after a photo that she posted on her Instagram account last year was published in the SudPresse newspapers. Schotte refers to her outfit as "pink". One of her followers then attacks a black man in the background to which the woman set to become Miss Belgium responds with the words "I know" followed by an emoticon in the form of a turd.
After publication in the newspaper the photo was removed.
In a statement Romanie Schotte later said: "I am open for all cultures and for all people. My dad spends most of his time working in Africa. How could I be racist? I'm very sorry if I have hurt some people by the reaction to somebody's post. I wish to apologise to all those who feel attacked."
Miss Belgium organiser Darlene Devos insisted that Romanie Schotte used the emoticon as a smiley and not in a negative manner.
Many people choose to differ and have added the turd emoticon to other photos on the account. Meanwhile, Unia, Belgium's anti-racism centre, has decided to open a dossier about the case that it describes as "ordinary racism that occurs too frequenlty".