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Miss Universe Organization Cuts Ties with Indonesian Franchise Over Harassment Claims




The Miss Universe Organization has announced the termination of its contract with its Indonesian franchise, PT Capella Swastika Karya, and its national director, Poppy Capella, following allegations of sexual harassment. The organization has also canceled the upcoming Miss Universe Malaysia pageant, as the license for the event is held by the same company.

Claims and Allegations

Several contestants from the Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 pageant reported distressing experiences during the event:

  • Six contestants filed formal complaints with the Jakarta police, alleging instances of sexual harassment during the pageant.
  • The alleged harassment consisted of topless “body checks” where contestants were subjected to public scrutiny in a room with over 20 attendees, including men.
  • According to the attorney Mellisa Anggraeni, representing the affected participants, there was no justification for these invasive procedures.
  • Some contestants even claimed they were photographed topless, and one shared her discomfort at being asked to pose inappropriately, feeling as if she was being voyeuristically observed.

Responses and Reactions

  • The Miss Universe Organization has publicly condemned the actions of the franchise. In an official statement, they declared: “It has become clear that this franchise has not lived up to our brand standards, ethics, or expectations as outlined in our franchise handbook and code of conduct.”
  • Reiterating its commitment to women’s safety, the organization has emphasized that they prioritize creating a safe environment for all participants.
  • The winner of the contest in Indonesia, Fabienne Nicole Groeneveld, has been granted permission to participate in the international Miss Universe event scheduled to be held in El Salvador.
  • Poppy Capella, the national director implicated in the scandal, has denied any involvement or knowledge of the alleged events. She said on Instagram that she’s against any kind of harm or inappropriate behavior. But, this post has now been deleted from her profile.
  • The police in Jakarta have started looking into the issue. They’re checking video recordings from the occasion and talking to the participants who said they were harassed.

Going Forward

The Miss Universe Organization is taking steps to prevent similar incidents in the future. The organization has stated that they are re-evaluating their policies and procedures. Contrary to the practices reported at the Indonesia pageant, the Miss Universe Organization clarified that there are no measurement or body dimension requirements for contestants participating in their pageants worldwide. The Miss Universe finale, even with all the current issues, is planned to happen on November 18 in El Salvador. To know more about the rules and regulations of the Miss Universe Organization, check out their official website, here.

For the Contestants and Future Participants

The events have certainly been traumatic for the victims, impacting their mental and emotional well-being. It is crucial for them to receive adequate support and counseling. Moreover, it is essential to create a platform where contestants feel safe and encouraged to voice their concerns without fear of retaliation. This incident could serve as a wake-up call for aspiring participants to be vigilant and informed about their rights when entering such contests.


The happenings linked to the Miss Universe Indonesia 2023 contest have revealed big worries about how contestants in beauty contests are treated and kept safe. As the investigation goes on, we’re hoping for fair treatment for those who suffered and a strong promise to make sure things like this don’t happen again.