‘Boycott’ Miss Universe? Anne Jakrajutatip, other execs under fire for inclusivity discussion

February 27, 2024 - 3:28 PM
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Miss Universe 2023 Top 5
Miss Universe 2023's Top 5 finalists in El Salvador on Nov. 18, 2023 (missuniversosv/Instagram)

Some Filipinos called for the “boycott” of the Miss Universe beauty pageant as videos of Thai mogul Anne Jakrajutatip surfaced online, suggesting that its inclusivity efforts were just a “communication strategy.”

Videos have appeared on social media featuring the JKN Global Group CEO in a meeting, where it is reportedly heard that the Miss Universe Organization’s inclusion of specific contestants “cannot win.”

“They can compete, but they cannot win,” a translated text of the conversation among the people in the video reads.

“We just put the policy out there… social inclusion, as people would say. I like that way of thinking! They will think, ‘I am part of the organization!’ We will tell them, you are [unclear]… Yeah, respect and inclusion,” the text added.

“We also want to have girls that like fashion, even though we know they can compete, but they cannot win. But we can have, like, a casting for models of all different colors, sizes, whatever,” the text continued.

The conversation, based on the translated texts, went on about having a “Miss Universe model agency.”

@divastarklao Miss Universe Org anomalies discussed in a meeting. How true? #missuniverse #annejakapongjakrajutatip #thailand #annejakrajutatip #missuniverseissue #annejakrajutatipissue #khunanne #jknglobal #missuniverse #fy #fyp #foryourpage #foryoupage #divastar #tiktokfebibig #pageantsph #pageantryph #pageanttalkph ♬ original sound – Divastar KLao

In 2023, the MUO dropped its age limit for contestants, opening the prestigious beauty pageant to women above 28 years old.

Before, it only accepted bets from ages 18 to 28 years old.

The year before, the pageant also announced that mothers and wives can now join the competition.

In 2012, the MUO began allowing transgenders to enter the pageant.

Meanwhile, the supposed video earned flak from some Pinoys who called for the “boycott” of the global beauty pageant following the comments heard about its inclusivity efforts.

“Boycott na!” a Filipino user on the X (formerly Twitter) platform exclaimed in response to the clip.

“Mga kababayan, please stop supporting this trash pageant starting today! Naging MGI 2.0 na,” an X account wrote, referring to the Miss Grand International pageant.

RELATED: ‘Great move’: Binibining Pilipinas lauded for cutting ties with Miss Grand International

“Hindi talaga pwede ang isang THAI na mamuno sa ganito. Nakaka-miss ‘yung 2010-18 era. Lahat for a show na lang at niluluto na lang talaga ‘yung nananalo diyan,” the account added.

“It’s time for us, to refocus our energy sa ibang bagay. There are more pressing matters that warrant attention than the drama instigated by these individuals,” wrote another user.

“Also, not good for the health din, saw how over-enthusiastic ang mga Pinoys, to the point na magbabanta sila sa comments,” she added.

Some accused Anne of “ruining” the organization.

“[Diyos ko], Anne ruined everything. Kawawa naman ang Miss Universe organization, binababoy lang ni Anne. Sirang-sira na ang image at reputation ng organization. Miss Universe pa naman ang highest/prestigious int’l [international] beauty pageant,” a user said.

Miss Universe 2023 Top 20 finalist Jane Dipika Garrett of Nepal, a plus-size model, also reportedly commented on the circulating video.

“Honey, I knew it was rigged from the moment I was on stage. I realized us ‘inclusion’ girls weren’t ever gonna get a real chance to win,” she wrote in an Instagram Story.

“But it is what it is and I’m super happy for my experience there and the platform I’ve been able to create. I have all my lovely fans and supporters, and that’s more than a crown for me,” Jane added.

‘Malicious’ video 

The Thai mogul on Tuesday, February 27, addressed the clip, saying it was “edited.” She also said they were not discussing the beauty pageant, but a “new reality show.”

“The malicious, edited video was out of context and used to manipulate other people which led to the public confusion, misunderstanding, misinterpretation and wrong conclusion,” Anne said on Facebook.

“I hope the world would not go round by this nonsense soap opera alike. I still don’t comprehend why this man, who I was so nice to him, would like to jeopardize me and the organization while we were talking about one of the new reality show episodes, not the pageantry itself,” she added.

Anne stressed that she is a transwoman and a mother who has been fighting for “gender equality rights” to be where she is now.

“Why do I have to live my life up against on what I believe? God gave me the purpose to live, to inspire, and to spread the kindness. I do have strength to forgive this man and show the desire to the universe that LOVE is what we need in this world. Amen,” she said.

Anne’s JKN Global Group bought the Miss Universe Organization in 2022 for $20 million. She said she aimed to handle the org by practicing “transformational leadership.”