Miss Universe Organization Denies Allegations of Rigging

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Miss Universe Organization Denies Allegations of Rigging

The Miss Universe pageant, held in New Orleans this year, is at the center of controversy following allegations of rigging by fans of the competition. The pageant was won by American R'Bonney Gabriel (28), but rumors of rigging began to spread on social media soon after the competition came to a close.

Allegations of Rigging

The Miss Universe pageant is now owned by the Thailand-based media company JKN Global Group, which is run by Anne Jakrajutatip. Jakrajutatip is accused of rigging the Miss USA competition, which is also owned by JKN Global Group.

Fans of the pageant have taken to social media to voice their suspicions about the conflict of interest of Jakrajutatip owning both Miss Universe and Miss USA. Jakrajutatip's corporation bought Miss Universe for $20 million last fall, which also included the rights to Miss USA.

Many are of the opinion that this is an obvious conflict of interest. The Miss Universe Organization denies the allegations of rigging, with executive director Amy Emmerich stating, "The false rigging allegations are absurd and distract from the incredible milestones our organization and the delegates experienced this weekend.

Instead of focusing on unfounded statements, we will continue to shine a light on global women’s empowerment, inclusiveness, diversity, and transformational leadership”. The controversy comes in the wake of multiple competitors alleging similar rigging during Gabriel's win in the Miss USA pageant in October.

Transgender Businesswoman and Miss Universe Owner

Jakrajutatip is the first transgender businesswoman to own the Miss Universe Organization, and her organization emphasized this in its statement: "From now on it’s gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world to celebrate the power of feminism." Gabriel, who won this year's pageant, denied the allegations of rigging in an interview with E!

News, stating, "It was not rigged because I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win. I have a lot of integrity”. "I would love to communicate with her because I think there's a lot of allegations that are coming up that aren't true, and people are leading to conclusions that just simply aren't true," R'Bonney said.

"I want to be transparent, and I want everybody to know that there was no unfair advantage and nothing was rigged." Despite the controversies and allegations, the Miss Universe Organization is determined to continue to promote global women’s empowerment, inclusiveness, diversity, and transformational leadership.