Miss Universe – the pageant – is under new ownership.
According to People magazine, Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, a Thai businesswoman and transgender rights advocate, has purchased the Miss Universe Organization for $20 million, according to multiple reports. Jakrajutatip, 43, is now the first woman to own the Miss Universe Organization in its 71-year history.
In addition to serving as CEO of JKN Global Group, which bought the pageant, Jakrajutatip is also a reality television star in Thailand — appearing on the country’s versions of shows like “Shark Tank” and “Project Runway”. Jakrajutatip also previously helped establish the Life Inspired for Transsexual Foundation, a nonprofit organization that supports transgender rights.
The pageant, which has been running since 1952, saw its first transgender contestant in 2018: Miss Spain, Angela Ponce. The current president (Paula Shugart) and CEO (Amy Emmerich) are expected to stay in place.
It will also be interesting to see what happens with the Miss USA pageant now that they are being investigated for rigging the pageant and for sexual assault. We’ll be keeping our eyes on this story as it continues developing!
If you missed my gallery from when I competed at Miss USA, you can find it here.
What is the most important thing we should be teaching young girls today? #MissUniverse #MissUniverse2019#PaulaShugart #ZoziTunzi #SouthAfrica♬ original sound - Miss Universe