The bankruptcy comes after the Miss Universe Organization has been heavily criticized in recent years for allowing transgender contestants, or biological men, to compete against the world's "most beautiful women."
In 2022, JKN Global Group purchased the failing organization for a whopping $22,000,000. The transaction was spearheaded by Thai business tycoon Anne Jakrajutatip, who is a trans-identified male.
Jakrajutatip described the acquisition as "a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio" but bank records show that the franchise appears to be anything but steady.
According to a document sent from JKN Global to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the company filed for bankruptcy on Nov. 8.
The document, according to the outlet, reads: "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, the Central Bankruptcy Court has subsequently issued an order to accept the petition for business rehabilitation of the Company on November 9, 2023."
Despite the bankruptcy, the Miss Universe Organization told its contestants that the show must go on and announced: "We 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."
After receiving backlash for allowing men to compete against women, the Miss Universe Organization defended its position and told CNN in October, "Trans women are women, full stop."
"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," they said.
The comments came after the controversial crowning of Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, who is a transgender biological male.
In addition to Machete, another biological male, Rikkie Kollé, will be competing in the pageant as Miss Netherlands.
In September, Machete released a video condemning the "rising levels of transphobia and intolerance are alarming worldwide," the outlet reports.
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