On Sept. 6, Paul Pattinson, the director of the Miss World pageant, called to say that Donald Trump has declined the Miss Universe crown. The news was first reported by the New York Post.
“I hope Mr. Trump continues to be happy with the Miss World title. He’s a national hero in the U.S.,” Pattinson said. “I think he’ll remain as the president. It’s not a bad position to be in, because he can do a whole lot with it.”
Pattinson, who has helmed the Miss World pageant since it was revived in 2014, attributed Trump’s decision not to take on the additional responsibility to the busy schedule the businessman has in the coming months: “It’s about respect. He has the platform and the popularity and the example to set. We want to make sure he uses it responsibly and in a positive way,” he said.
Trump, who took to Twitter to announce the news, wrote:
The ‘Most Beautiful’ Crown
“While Miss World is delighted that it was able to provide an opportunity for so many women, we feel that this year’s competition was, by comparison, weak,” Trump wrote. “There were many contestants who were completely overlooked, as the owners of this year’s crown, the producers of the Miss World pageant, seem to have chosen a winner they thought would be best-suited for the Trump brand.”
“In response, we have decided to not take on the complexity of the Miss Universe Organization and their crown, and we have asked them to remove our name from the event,” he continued.
The pageant, which will be rebranded as the Miss International competition in 2021, will now take place in Shanghai in October and feature an emphasis on Chinese culture. The change was announced on the organization’s website.
Pattinson agreed that the event needed to make changes in light of the pandemic. “The world has changed — the event has to change with it,” he said. “We have to adapt to new challenges, and that’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to make sure the Miss International event lives up to its reputation.”
The news comes a month after Trump lost the Miss America pageant to 29-year-old Alicia Machado. The Hispanic entrepreneur and glamour queen took the crown away from the Republican presidential nominee following her win over the summer. In the aftermath, Trump has lashed out at Machado on Twitter and in interviews, calling her “disgusting” and a “slut.”
The two events mark the first time in history that a Miss America winner has gone on to become president. Trump will appear at a rally in Charlotte on Monday night to raise money for the Republican Party.
The Power of the Platform
Pattinson, who is British, said that being chosen to host the Miss World competition was “a dream come true.”
“The fact that Donald Trump saw me as the person to choose to be the face of his new organization — and for a British man to be the face of a U.S. beauty pageant — was amazing,” he said in an interview. “I couldn’t believe it when he announced that he had chosen me. It’s an amazing feeling.”
According to the director, the most significant aspect of his job is that he gets to use his platform to make a difference. “My job is not just to put on a glamorous event,” he said. “There are so many girls who want to be involved in advocacy and want to change the world. And that’s what I want to help them with.”
Pattinson, who previously directed the Miss Great Britain pageant and edited the Miss Universe Organization’s official website, said that one of the highlights of his time at the event was getting to work with the “incredible” contestants.
“You’re given the absolute dream job in terms of what you get to see and experience,” he said. “You get to see these incredible women from all over the world and know that you helped to bring them to this point. It’s something that I will cherish for the rest of my life.”
What’s Next for Paul Pattinson?
Since losing the Miss America crown, Trump has not been the only person to criticize Pattinson. Many pageant competitors, fans, and members of the media have questioned whether or not he was the right fit for the role. Some have even gone as far as to say that he’s “ruined” the beauty pageant industry.
Pattinson has dismissed the criticism, saying that he’s happy in his new role and excited about future projects.
“I just want to continue doing my job and being the best director that I can be,” he said. “I’m still in the very early stages of planning the next event. I’ve got lots of ideas and want to make sure the next event is even better than the last one.”
Pattinson, who became a U.S. citizen in 2014, has also been active in the political arena in the United States. Last year, he supported Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic Party’s nomination fight. Sanders won the Democratic presidential primary, and Pattinson said that he considered it an endorsement.
Since the inception of the Miss World competition in 1955, only two other people have held the title: Grace Kelly, the wife of the late King Edward VIII, and Silvia Lindström, the 2006 winner. The latter became a Swedish citizen in order to be able to rule over her country’s portion of the Iceland–Spain border after winning the competition. (The region became independent in 1988.)
Pattinson, who will remain at the helm of the Miss World competition for the next three years, said that he wants to find a way to make the event more accessible to people in the U.S. In addition to the 2020 changes, the pageant is set to become a semi-regular event in 2022.
“The more we can do to make it U.S. friendly, the better,” he said. “The U.S. market is the largest in the world, and we want to make sure that we reach as many people as possible with our events.”
What’s Next for Donald Trump?
The real estate tycoon and former professional wrestler has yet to indicate what he’ll do next. But with a little over a month until the Nov. 3 election, it’s clear that he’s keeping his eye on the prize. Even before the coronavirus pandemic, his campaign had been plagued by questions about its financial viability. (As of mid-September, his campaign reported $16.9 million in the bank and $34.8 million in debt.)
Trump has denied that his campaign is in trouble and has pointed to his enormous popularity in arguing that he’ll be able to finance his campaign and maintain his grip on the White House.
Since the beginning of this year, several high-profile supporters of the president have either fallen sick or tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus, including his attorney, Rudy Giuliani; his personal physician, Dr. Harold Bornstein; and Kayleigh McEnany, a spokeswoman for the campaign who also works for CNN. (All three have recovered.)
The president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., tested positive for the coronavirus in March. (He recovered after taking a few days off work.)
On Monday, the president is set to deliver a campaign rally in Charlotte, North Carolina. The city has been a focal point of the pandemic and has been particularly affected by the virus, with over 600 cases and at least 23 deaths as of mid-September. Trump is expected to highlight the impact that the pandemic has had on the city’s economy and fight for votes ahead of the November election.
What Does This Mean for the Future of the ‘Miss World’ Name?
The name ‘Miss World’ has been around for almost 70 years, and in that time, it’s become the go-to competition for beauty pageant fans and queens alike. In recent years, the popularity of the event has surged, and today, the ‘Miss World’ competition is one of the biggest events of the year for the pageant industry. (Last year, it was attended by over 400 people, according to figures from the Miss World Organization.)