The Miss Universe Organization said late Saturday that it would sever its relationship with its Indonesia franchise amid sexual harassment allegations.
What do know so far?
“It has become clear that this franchise has not lived up to our brand standards, ethics, or expectations as outlined in our franchise handbook and code of conduct,” Miss Universe posted on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.
The organization said it will “terminate the relationship with its current franchise in Indonesia, PT Capella Swastika Karya, and its National Director, Poppy Capella.”
The usage of the word swastika in the name of the company is likely connected to Hindu symbolism rather than anything to do with National Socialism.
Half a dozen women have accused Miss Universe Indonesia of sexual harassment. They said the Indonesian organizer forced them to do topless “body checks” to look for skin imperfections or cellulite.
Police in Jakarta have said they launched an investigation into the allegations.
Malaysian competition also called off
The Miss Universe Organization also said there would not be a Miss Universe Malaysia contest this year since the Indonesia franchise is tasked with overseeing that competition too.
Indonesia franchise director Poppy Capella rebuked the allegations in an Instagram post.
“I, as the National Director and as the owner of the Miss Universe Indonesia license, was not involved at all and have never known, ordered, requested or allowed anyone who played a role and participated in the process of organizing Miss Universe 2023 to commit violence or sexual harassment through body checking,” the statement from Capella said.
Every year, women in Indonesia compete to become the representative for the Miss Universe contest. Fabienne Nicole Groeneveld is the year’s Miss Indonesia, and she is still set to take part in the worldwide Miss Universe competition in El Salvador in November.
wd/ab (Reuters, AP)