A Thai celebrity media tycoon and transgender rights advocate Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip has bought the Miss Universe Organization for USD 20 million and will now host the international beauty pageant. Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip, the CEO of the Thailand-based media company JKN Global Group.
She is also a well-known celebrity in Thailand and has been featured in the local version of the reality shows such as Shark Tank and Project Runway. She has been a strong advocate for transgender rights, having helped to start the nonprofit group Life Inspired for Transsexual Foundation, LIFT, to advocate for the rights to dignity and opportunities for transgender people.
JKN Global Group has recently announced the takeover and has revealed its plan to grow the Miss Universe Organization by expanding in Asia and releasing new merchandise including skin care, cosmetics, lifestyle products, dietary supplements, and drinks.
According to the JKN news release, the purchase makes Jakkaphong the first woman owner of the Miss Universe Organization since its inception. Jakkaphong said the company was ‘incredibly honored’ to make the acquisition. ‘We seek not only to continue its legacy of providing a platform to passionate individuals from diverse backgrounds, cultures, and traditions. but also to evolve the brand for the next generation,’ she said.
The Miss Universe beauty contest, one of the world’s most-watched pageants, has been running since 1952, and is currently being broadcasted globally in more than 160 countries and throughout its existence has never been owned by a female boss till now. Between 1996 and 2015, the organization was owned by Donald Trump, who then sold it to WME-IMG, now known as Endeavor.