Michelle Dee addresses viral video with Anne Jakrajutatip: ‘There’s a better way to be respectful’
Michelle Dee addressed a viral video of herself with Miss Universe Organization (MUO) owner Anne Jakrajutatip, saying the Thai mogul could have been “more respectful” to fans regardless of the outcome of the Miss Universe 2023 pageant.
Interviewed on Fast Talk with Boy Abunda on Monday following her arrival from Mexico, her last stop after the pageant, Dee said that while the MOU owner “might not have [any] bad intentions” in showing her off in the video, she believes that there’s a better way to appease unhappy pageant fans.
“Miss Universe is alive because of its supporters who are so passionate. Even though [Jakrajutatip] might not have had bad intentions, the way it was executed, delivered, it could’ve been better,” she told Abunda.
In that video, Jakrajutatip can be seen pulling Dee beside her before speaking Thai to address pageant watchers from the Philippines and Thailand who “cannot move on” from the results of the Miss Universe 2023 pageant that saw Sheynnis Palacios of Nicaragua besting 83 other contenders for the crown. Before the video ended, Dee can be seen respectfully walking away from the camera, but Jakrajutatip again went up to her to give her a hug before calling her “Beautiful, very cool.”
Some Filipino fans, however, did not take kindly to the video, saying it was insulting for Dee, especially as they were of the belief that she had been robbed of a chance to be in the finals of the competition, citing her strong stage presence and evening gown performance.
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Dee, however, said she opted to see the “best in everybody” despite some pointing out that the Thai businesswoman’s remark was done with a “malicious intent.”
“I frankly think there’s always a better way to be more respectful to the fans. But of course, do I believe that it was done with malicious intent? I try to see the best in everybody,” she said. “That’s what I chose to do, to be polite and say thank you.”
Dee ended her Miss Universe 2023 stint at the Top 10. Palacios was eventually named as the winner, while Anntonia Porsild of Thailand settled for first runner-up.
Despite this, she brought home several awards including Voice for Change gold honoree, Fan Vote winner, Spirit of Carnival award, and Best in National Costume.