Miss Universe Organisation Takes Action Following Allegations of Sexual Abuse in Indonesia

The Miss Universe Organisation (MUO) has made the decision to cut ties with its Indonesian franchise after multiple contestants came forward with allegations of sexual abuse. The contestants claim that they were unexpectedly asked to strip for a “body check” and that some were even photographed topless. The US-based MUO has stated that the franchise failed to meet its brand standards and ethical expectations. As a result, the organisation has also canceled this year’s pageant in Malaysia, which is operated by the same company.

The claims of sexual abuse have sparked an investigation by the Jakarta police. MUO has expressed gratitude to the courageous women who filed the complaints and has reaffirmed its commitment to providing a safe environment for women. The organisation has stated that it will be reviewing and revising its policies and procedures to prevent similar incidents in the future.

Miss Universe is an internationally recognized beauty pageant that has gained significant popularity in Southeast Asia, particularly in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The winners of these pageants often go on to achieve celebrity status and become influential figures on social media.

The owner of MUO, Anne Jakrajutatip, is a Thai transgender woman and media mogul who has been working to make the brand more inclusive. Recently, the competition has allowed married women, transgender women, and single mothers to participate. However, the recent allegations in Indonesia have raised concerns about the safety and well-being of the contestants.

Poppy Capella, the director of Indonesia’s Miss Universe franchise, denied any involvement in or knowledge of the alleged sexual abuse. She stated on Instagram that she has never condoned violence or sexual harassment during the pageant’s organization process. Capella emphasized her opposition to any form of violence or harassment.

Despite the controversy, the winner of Miss Universe Indonesia, Ms. Fabienne Nicole Groeneveld, will still be allowed to compete in the 2023 Miss Universe finals with the support of MUO.

The allegations of sexual abuse within the Miss Universe franchise highlight the urgent need for organizations to ensure the safety and well-being of their participants. This incident serves as a reminder that everyone must remain vigilant in preventing and addressing instances of sexual abuse and harassment.

As discussions surrounding consent, body autonomy, and the treatment of women continue to gain momentum globally, it is crucial for organizations like MUO to take appropriate actions and hold individuals accountable for their actions.

Moving forward, it is essential that the Miss Universe Organization make significant changes to its policies and procedures to ensure that all participants feel safe and respected. This includes conducting thorough background checks on staff and volunteers, implementing clear guidelines for body checks and photo shoots, and providing comprehensive training on consent and harassment prevention.

Furthermore, it is vital for the Indonesian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse. The victims must be supported throughout the legal process, and if the claims are substantiated, the perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions.

The Miss Universe Organisation should use this incident as an opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue with contestants, activists, and organizations working to prevent sexual abuse and harassment in the pageant industry. By doing so, they can develop a comprehensive strategy to ensure the safety and well-being of all participants in future events.

It is our collective responsibility to stand against any form of violence, harassment, or abuse. By raising awareness, promoting consent education, and advocating for justice, we can create a safer world for everyone.