The new transgender owner of the Miss Universe Organization declared at the event over the weekend that the new global era for women’s empowerment would be led by trans people.
Biological male Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, CEO and biggest shareholder of JKN Global Group Public Company Limited, bought the organization for $20 million late last year from Endeavor’s IMG.
“It has been 70 years that Miss Universe Organization run by men. But now, time is up, is the moment really, for women to take the leap,” Jakrajutatip said. “Welcome to the new era of the global women’s empowerment platform. Welcome to the Miss Universe Organization. From now on is going to be ran by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women, for all women really around the world to celebrate the power of feminism.”
Anne Jakrajutatip, the new owner of Miss Universe, delivered an empowering speech yesterday: “Welcome to the new era. From now on it’s gonna be run by women, owned by a trans woman, for all women around the world.” pic.twitter.com/TJXV8EPkAv
— Dan Hastings-நாராயணன் (@notdanhastings) January 15, 2023
The Miss Universe pageant, originated in 1952, had previously been owned by Donald Trump starting in 1996 along with CBS and then NBC before it was sold to IMG in 2015.
“We are incredibly honored to be acquiring the Miss Universe organization and working with its visionary leadership team,” Jakrajutatip, who became a reality TV star on Thai versions of “Project Runway” and “Shark Tank,” said last year after acquiring the organization. “The global reach of the organization, its relationships with global partners and brands, and its wealth of content, licensing, and merchandising opportunities make this a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio. We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions, but also to evolve the brand for the next generation.”
Recently, Miss Universe suspended the organizers of Miss USA after a furor erupted following the annual Miss USA pageant.
Contestants in the 2022 Miss USA pageant received an email from Miss Universe CEO Amy Emmerich informing them that Miss Brand, which runs the pageant, has been suspended from the pageant.
“After thorough deliberation, Miss Universe Organization has decided to suspend Miss Brand immediately,” Emmerich wrote. “Miss Universe will be taking over the Miss USA program while a comprehensive third-party investigation is conducted.”
“We are appreciative of the cooperation we’ve seen from Miss USA Director Crystle Stewart as we work through this process,” Emmerich added.
Stewart, the director of Miss Brand and the winner of Miss USA in 2008 before starting to run the pageant in 2020, had come under fire after contestants alleged that the pageant favored the eventual winner, Miss Texas, R’Bonney Gabriel. After Gabriel’s victory was announced and she walked around the stage, other contestants, in an unprecedented move, walked off the stage.
TMZ reported that Jakrajutatip was now being accused of “rigging the pageant for Miss USA” after the pageant this weekend.
Hank Berrien contributed to this report.