Sexual harassment? What sexual harassment are you talking about?
“I can confirm there was no sexual harassment happening in any shape or form,” Miss Earth Cuba 2018 Monica Aguilar said in an Instagram post on Thursday.
Aguilar made this statement after three fellow Miss Earth candidates spoke up about a sponsor who asked for sexual favors during the pageant.
She acknowledged that they received an invitation to Boracay, even sharing the screengrab of the text message in a separate Instagram post.
“Yes, some of the sponsors did ask us if we wanted to extend our visas to go to Boracay after the pageant, but no one promised to get us further in the competition through ‘sexual favors,’” Aguilar said.
Miss Cuba emphasized that the invitation is not sexual harassment, adding how one can simply refuse: “I don’t think an invitation to Boracay is sexual harassment. All you can do is say no, thank you and move on with your life!”
Aguilar also defended the team managers of the pageant, saying she felt “extremely safe” under their care.
She also urged her Instagram followers to “stand with Miss Earth and against sexual predators” because the pageant “was not at fault.”
“Saying that what happened to us girls is Miss Earth’s fault because they were the ones that provided the sponsors is the same thing as saying ‘it is your fault your son committed murder because you gave birth to him,’” Aguilar added.
Miss Earth Canada Jaime VanderBerg, Miss Earth Guam Emma Mae Sheedy and Miss Earth England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown took to social media on Thursday to say how they were sexually harassed during the Miss Earth pageant held in the Philippines.
The alleged sponsor was already axed from the pageant, said Miss Earth executive vice president Lorraine Schuck of Carousel Productions that runs Miss Earth on Thursday.