Fact-check: No petition to ban Miss Universe candidates of mixed descent in the future

December 26, 2018 - 2:09 PM
Catriona Gray Interaksyon
There's no petition to prevent candidates of mixed race like Miss Universe Catriona Gray to compete in the pageant in the future. (Reuters/Athit Perawongmetha)

Rumors of an international petition allegedly making rounds online that seeks to prevent mixed-race candidates from joining the Miss Universe pageant is false.

Two dubious websites recently claimed that there’s an online petition calling for women who are “half-bloods” to be banned from the prestigious pageant.

The first blog article said that 16 countries, including Thailand and Vietnam, have filed a petition to the Miss Universe Organization to prohibit the Philippines from sending representatives who are only half-Filipino.

The countries supposedly made this complaint shortly after Miss Universe Catriona Gray won the competition on December 17.

It is headlined “Half Blood Pinay Bawal na Sumali sa Miss Universe, Vietnam at Thailand Filed a Petitions Including 14 Countries.”

A similar post was made by Hopclear, a sketchy entertainment website, on December 24.

It made a stronger assertion that candidates from other countries are requesting Gray to “be stripped of her crown.”

Miss Mongolia and Miss Indonesia allegedly wrote letters that expressed it is “unfair” for them to compete against women who are “half-breeds.”

It even included a purported response from Miss Universe chairwoman Paula Shugart: “We are looking into this kind of possibilities and we respect all country-members. If there are multiple complains then we have to take action. No final decision has been made so far.”

These stories made rounds across platforms.

In five years, two Philippine representatives have won the international beauty contest, Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach who is half-German and half-Filipino, and Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray who is half-Australian and half-Filipino.

Why is this false?

No petition or complaint supposedly filed by the countries mentioned in these reports is found on international media.

The candidates of these countries also did not post anything related to it nor expressed any negative judgment toward Gray on their social media accounts.

Neither the organization nor Shugart have also issued official statements on making limitations to applicants of the competition in succeeding years.

Based on its website, the application process to enter Miss Universe varies per country. There is no provision stating limits on racial background.

In general, an applicant should be between 18 and 28 years old, and never been married or pregnant. The titleholder should also remain single throughout her reign.

In the Philippines, a candidate must first win the local Binibining Pilipinas pageant to be able to compete in Miss Universe.

The Philippines is also not the only country that have sent mixed-race contestants to the contest. In 2015, the year Wurtzbach won, Japan was represented by Ariana Miyamoto who is of Japanese and African-American descent.