Miss Universe Owner Anne Ignites Controversies W/ New Rules
MISS UNIVERSE – Anne Jakrajutatip is raising eyebrows in the pageant community with her policies as the new franchise owner.
In October 2022, the Chief executive officer and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group Anne Jakrajutatip purchased the MUpageant from IMG. Based on a report from PhilStar, the new rules of the Thai billionaire are raising eyebrows in the pageant community.
Previously, the MU owner was lauded for making decisions like permitting moms and married women to compete in the international beauty pageant. Pageant enthusiasts, on the other hand, believe Anne has only made one stride forward and two steps back.
Following are some recent Miss Universe Organization or Anne-directed policies that have received criticism from the pageant community.
The 44-year-old businesswoman has banned MU franchise owners to send applicants to other international pageants. This issue is especially contentious for some franchisees that send their MU titleholders to various pageants not affiliated with MU.
For example, the Philippines, from 1964 until 2018 crowned its MU titleholders through Binibining Pilipinas. Binibining Pilipinas titleholders have represented the country in international pageants such as Miss International, Miss Grand International, Miss Globe, and Miss Intercontinental over the past 54 years. It changed in 2019, when the Miss Universe Philippines (MUPH) Organization took over the franchise, with queens serving only as brand ambassadors for the event, with no cross-overs.
South Africa is one of the countries that send its titleholders to other international pageants, with winners competing in Miss Universe, Miss World, and Miss Supranational.
“We (Miss Universe Organization) prefer to have just one stage for one beauty pageant brand. No other brands must be involved. Cannot be involved on the same stage. The winner goes to Miss Universe, the first runner-up you go to this, the second runner-up you go to that. I respect the work in the past 20-30 years. I admire what you have done. But this is the principle of the company, of the organization, that we must gain the respect. And we must be the first priority,” Anne Jakrajutatip explained.
Apart from MU, Miss Universe Philippines will have two (2) other titles in this year’s pageant which the organization will announce soon.
According to the report, the MUO introduced a new regulation that requires organizations that want to host Miss Universe competitions and send representatives to submit an annual bid.
“In the application, you will be asked for your highest bid for the opportunity to hold the Miss Universe license. Please be advised that proposed license fees deemed not aligned with the market value in your region will be rejected,” the MUO said in a statement.
This instantly backfired, with at least four national organizations withdrawing from the yearly pageant. Puteri Indonesia, Miss Universe Seychelles, Miss Universe Ghana, and Miss Universe Mauritius are among the long-standing participants.
Anne quickly issued a personal statement in response to these highly public pullouts: “Seems something got lost in translation and information. The request of submission was meant to give voice and agency to the current directors. A way that they can speak truth to what they believe their business is worth. I saw some fake news, drama swirling plus some funny comments and doubt that how can someone criticize on something without getting the right info or interviewing anyone in the organization.”
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