Miss Universe Indonesia contestants allege sexual harassment

miss universe indonesia

JAKARTA: Several contestants in the Miss Universe Indonesia pageant have lodged complaints of sexual abuse against its organisers.

According to the BBC, the participants alleged that they were subjected to topless “body checks” as part of the competition. They were reportedly asked to remove their tops for physical examinations and photographs, which left many of them feeling violated and mentally distressed.

The incidents occurred two days before the finals on August 3. Lawyers representing some of the complainants have stated that more contestants are expected to come forward.

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The Miss Universe Indonesia Organisation, meanwhile, said it will investigate the allegations, and police in Jakarta have confirmed that they will also be looking into the matter.

The global Miss Universe Organization also issued a statement saying it was committed to investigating allegations of sexual impropriety and ensuring a safe environment for participants.

Indonesia is no stranger to beauty pageants, but organisers are cautious about not offending conservative segments of the country’s Muslim-majority society. The allegations have raised concerns about the handling of contestants’ privacy and dignity in the pageant industry.

Miss Universe, in its 73rd edition, is popular in Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, the Philippines, and Thailand. The incident highlights the broader conversations around the treatment of participants in beauty competitions and the need for more stringent guidelines to protect their well-being.

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