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Thai transgender rights activists purchased ‘Miss Universe’ pageants for $20 million

According to a company announcement, a transgender rights activist and a Thai media tycoon have bought the firm that runs Miss Universe pageants for $20 million.

By wasmulhaq 
Updated Date

Bangkok: According to a company announcement, a transgender rights activist and a Thai media tycoon have bought the firm that runs Miss Universe pageants for $20 million.

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Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, who also hosts the local edition of the “Project Runway”franchise, has become the first woman to control the beauty pageant organisation altogether. In a statement released on Wednesday by the JKN Global Group, in which it was announced that Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip became the chief executive.

The pageant, which was once controlled by former US President Donald Trump, has received criticism for much of its 70-year history for supporting archaic notions of femininity.

Jakapong told reporters she hoped the acquisition would improve Thailand’s reputation overseas and that it was an opportunity to “develop the brand.”

“I’m hoping that this will give Thailand soft power and bring more tourists to our country,” she said in Bangkok.

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She characterised the purchase from Endeavor’s IMG as a “strong, strategic addition” to her company’s portfolio.

In a Facebook post, Jakapong thanked fans of the pageant for their love and support.

Miss Universe Organisation chief executive Amy Emmerich and president Paula Shugart will stay on in their roles.

The next Miss Universe pageant is set to be held in the US city of New Orleans next January.

The contest is broadcast in 165 countries.

 

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