The Miss Universe magnificence pageant has reduce ties with its organisers in Indonesia following claims that contestants have been pressured to strip bare and endure intimate “physique checks”.
Police have additionally launched an investigation into the allegations, whereas an upcoming pageant in Malaysia – organized by the Indonesian franchisee holder – has been cancelled.
It comes after six girls filed sexual harassment complaints following a contest to choose Indonesia‘s consultant for the worldwide competitors.
The contestants say native organisers requested them to strip to their underwear to endure “physique checks” – supposedly for scars or cellulite – in a room with about two dozen individuals current, together with males.
5 of the ladies stated they have been additionally photographed topless through the pageant, which was held in Jakarta from 29 July to three August.
Police director Hengki Haryadi stated on Sunday: “These victims felt pressured to take off their garments and pose inappropriately for physique checking that traumatised them.”
He stated officers have been nonetheless inspecting surveillance cameras from the scene and would interview the victims.
The Miss Universe Group (MUO) stated in an announcement: “In gentle of what we now have discovered came about at Miss Universe Indonesia, it has grow to be clear that this franchise has not lived as much as our model requirements and ethics”.
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Officers stated they’d make preparations for the native Indonesian winner to nonetheless compete within the world ultimate later this 12 months.
The MUO added that it was reviewing its insurance policies “to stop one of these conduct from occurring and to make sure that future occasions worldwide stay throughout the model requirements that we now have set out for all of our worldwide franchises”.
It added: “We additionally wish to make it extraordinarily clear that there are not any measurements equivalent to top, weight or physique dimensions required to affix a Miss Universe pageant worldwide.”
‘New period’ for Miss Universe
Indonesian magnificence firm PT Capella Swastika Karya took over the licence for Miss Universe Indonesia in March.
Its founder Poppy Capella stated: “I, because the Nationwide Director and because the proprietor of the Miss Universe Indonesia licence, was not concerned in any respect and have by no means recognized, ordered, requested or allowed anybody who performed a job and took part within the Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 course of to commit violence or sexual harassment by physique checking.”
The scandal is the most recent controversy to hit the long-running competitors, which critics have attacked as sexist and demeaning to girls.
Between 1996 and 2015 the rights to the pageant have been part-owned by former US president Donald Trump.
The MUO’s swift response to the allegations in Indonesia comes after it was taken over by Thai media tycoon and transgender rights campaigner Anne Jakkaphong in 2022.
Earlier this 12 months she promised a “new era” for the competition and added: “any further it should be run by girls, owned by a trans girl, for all girls world wide to have a good time the ability of feminism”.