Culture

Thai Transgender Woman Buys Miss Universe Contest for $20M USD

Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip is the first-ever woman owner of the organization.

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Once co-owned by Donald Trump, the Miss Universe Organization has been bought by Anne Jakapong Jakrajutatip, a transgender woman who owns JKN Global Group, one of Thailand‘s biggest media companies.

The latest move comes as the Miss Universe contest pushes to become more inclusive. Jakrajutatip shared in a statement, “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.” She continued, “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.”

From 1996 to 2015, the pageant was co-owned by Trump, who decided to sell after two television companies said they would not broadcast the contest due to the former U.S. president’s comments on illegal immigrants during his 2016 presidential campaign. With the latest change, Jakrajutatip is now the first woman owner of the organization. As the pageant continues to push for inclusivity, starting next year, Miss Universe will be allowing married women and mothers to compete for the title, which was previously open for only those who are not married and with no children.

See Jakrajutatip’s message on Instagram below.

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