Miss Papua New Guinea 2019 has been stripped of her title after a video of her twerking was shared on the internet that went viral.25-year-old Lucy Maino, former captain of the island’s women football team, was crowned Miss New Guinea in 2019 and was ‘released’ from her duties after her twerking video was widely shared on the internet from her private TikTok account. The video attracted huge criticism, some dubbing the dance as ‘inappropriate’ and some came in support of Maino claiming the move shows a culture of misogyny and sexism in the island country.
Guardian reports, the video was downloaded from her private account and went viral overnight sparking negative attention, online harassment and cyberbullying of Maino.Some suggested that a ‘role model’ should not share such videos despite twerking being a common dance move on TikTok videos.
After the backlash, Maino was ‘released’ from her duties by Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG (MPIP PNG) committee this week.
The statement released by the committee states MPIP PNG “promotes virtues of confidence, self-worth, integrity and community service with a parallel focus on education.” The statement reads their core purpose is women empowerment and the “unique pageant-style” platform promotes “cultural heritage, traditional values and sharing through tourism about our country and people.”
The committee’s decision is meeting backlash over the ‘misogynistic’ behaviour. Allan Bird, the governor of East Sepik and co-chair of the Coalition of Parliamentarians against Gender-based violence, spoke against the harassment faced by Maino and asked “what kind of society condemns the nature and killing of women yet get upset when a young woman does a dance video?” reports The Guardian.
A former Miss PNG also joined the cause and asked if such a harsh decision would have been taken if it was a male figure in place of Miss Maino. She claimed the video would have been laughed at or praised if a male public figure did a TikTok.
The United Nation in Papua New Guinea called the incident cyberbullying in a Facebook post on March 30.
“The United Nations stands to ensure that the rights of the people are at the forefront of digital safety and protection policies,” read the post.