Former Miss Universe Paulina Vega, center, removes the crown from Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez, left, before giving it to Miss Philippines Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach, right, at the Miss Universe pageant on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015, in Las Vegas. Gutierrez was incorrectly named the winner before Wurtzbach was given the Miss Universe crown. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Is it true that the Miss Universe 2016 pageant will no longer be held in the Philippines?
It was earlier announced by no less than Malacañang and the Department of Tourism that the annual international pageant will take place in the country. But how true is the talk we’ve heard that William Morris Endeavor/IMG, which owns the Miss Universe franchise, has cancelled that plan?
WME/IMG reportedly cited political instability, security concerns and the Philippines not paying the hosting fee yet as the reasons for the cancellation.
Is it also true that the co-CEO and owner of WME/IMG, Ari Emanuel, who happens to be Jewish, was offended by President Duterte’s controversial remarks and referencing Hitler and his “Go to hell” comments directed at US President Barack Obama?
Ari Emanuel’s brother Rahm Emanuel is the mayor of Chicago, and was a chief of staff to Obama. Their eldest brother, Zeke, is one of the US’ foremost authorities on health care and is often referred to as the architect of Obama’s landmark health care legislation.
WME/IMG is now said to be looking for other countries to host the Miss U pageant. WME/IMG also reportedly cancelled its upcoming UFC event in Manila set this month.
Like in the moments before the winner is announced, we’re breathlessly waiting—but this time, to hear if this sad news is true. – Luis Carlo San Juan