Former Miss Universe Alicia Machado is suing the pageant for discrimination
Posted On July 23, 2021
Alicia Machados lawsuit filed Thursday against the Miss Universe Organization alleges the pageant was discriminatory toward her and other black contestants and that it denied them opportunities to attend and compete in other competitions.
The lawsuit, which seeks unspecified damages, alleges the Miss USA Organization and the Miss Teen USA Organization discriminated against Machados and other contestants by excluding her from participation in the Miss Black pageant in the fall of 2015.
The suit also says the pageant and the organizers of the Miss South Africa pageant were negligent by failing to offer Machados an opportunity to compete in the same competition that she did and to have her appearance and accomplishments appear in the pageant.
Machados filed the lawsuit after the pageant announced it would be taking a look at a potential diversity commission.
The Miss Universe pageant had also said it would consider appointing a commission.
Machado was crowned Miss Universe in 2016 after winning the Miss World title in 2012.
Her pageant was among a wave of other organizations, including the Miss U.S. pageant, to end its black female-only events in the last year.
Machades attorney, Robert P. Neeley, said Thursday that the lawsuit would be dismissed.
The suit names the pageant, the Miss New York City pageant, and the International Miss Universe organization as defendants.
Machadas attorney, Benjamin M. Williams, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.
The pageant’s website lists more than 150 awards and honors for the winner of the 2016 pageant.
Machados is the first openly gay contestant to win an international pageant title.