OAN’s Brooke Mallory
1:48 PM – Thursday, November 16, 2023
The 2023 Miss Universe pageant, which recently announced that they will be including transgender competitors, is still scheduled for this Saturday, but only a few days prior to it, the JKN Global Group filed for bankruptcy.
The organization was purchased by Thai media mogul Anne Jakrajutatip of the JKN Global Group in 2022 for $20 million after she became a transgender activist. As a transgender celebrity with widespread recognition in her home country, Jakrajutatip referred to the acquisition at the time as “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.”
However, the franchise itself now seems unsteady a year later.
A public document from JKN Global Group submitted to the Stock Exchange of Thailand said: “JKN Global Group Public Company Limited (the ‘Company’) has filed a petition for business rehabilitation with the Central Bankruptcy Court under the Bankruptcy Act B.E. 2483 (1940) (as amended) (the ‘Bankruptcy Act’) on November 8, 2023. 2023, the Central Bankruptcy Court has subsequently issued an order to accept the petition for business rehabilitation of the Company on November 9, 2023.”
In a follow-up statement, the Miss Universe Organization stated that in light of “the current financial situation,” they can “confirm that Miss Universe 2023 will be held in El Salvador on 18 November 2023, where a top notch experience provided to our fans will remain our top priorities.”
At least two transgender contestants who are identifying as women for the first time are expected to compete in this year’s Miss Universe pageant: Rikkie Kollé, the first transgender Miss Netherlands winner, and Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, who works as a flight attendant.
This comes after Ángela Ponce of Spain, who was the first transgender competitor overall in 2018, did not make it to the finals.
“Trans women are women, full stop,” the Miss Universe Organization told CNN in October, following Miss Portugal’s crowning. “We are here to celebrate women, full stop. This has been true for more than a decade, and we’re proud to have made this change very early on, compared to other programs.”
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