Miss Papua New Guinea stripped of her crown after TikTok twerking video

Isabelle Aron
·2-min read
 (YouTube)
(YouTube)

Miss Papua New Guinea has been stripped of her crown after sharing a video of herself twerking on TikTok.

Lucy Maino, 25, was crowned Miss Papua New Guinea in 2019. She is also a footballer who represented her national team as co-captain in 2019.

According to a report in The Guardian, the video from Maino’s TikTok account was downloaded and shared on YouTube and other social media platforms, prompting online criticism and harassment of Maino.

A statement released on Miss PNG Pacific Islands’ official Facebook page said that Main had now been “released” from her duties as Miss Papua New Guinea.

The statement said: “The Miss Pacific Islands Pageant PNG (MPIP PNG) Committee would like to announce that Miss Papua New Guinea 2019 Lucy Maino has now been released from her duties.”

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According to the statement, this decision came after a meeting between the MPIP PNG Committee and Maino, during which “An amicable decision was reached”.

There was no pageant held in 2020 as a result of the pandemic. In the statement, MPIP PNG chairperson Molly O’Rourke explained that Maino had continued “her reign as Miss Papua New Guinea for a longer period than would have been normal”. She added: “For that, we are very grateful.”

The backlash online and the committee’s decision has been criticised by many on social media, with people taking to Twitter to express their disappointment. One person said it revealed “A deep-seated culture of misogyny” and that Maino deserved her crown back.

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The United Nations in Papua New Guinea also expressed its disappointment at the decision, with a statement on its official Facebook page.

It said that in 2020, Maino was part of a team representing Papua New Guinea advocating for PNG to the UN deputy secretary general Amina Mohammed, UNAIDS executive director Winnie Byanyima and UN youth envoy Jayathma Wickramanayake.

It added: “The United Nations stands to ensure that the rights of the people are at the forefront of digital safety and protection policies.

“While constructive criticism and dissenting views are legitimate, bullying is NEVER acceptable in any form: neither digital or in-person.

“We see the devastation of violence against women and children in this beautiful country. Some through bullying have lost their lives.”

The Independent has approached MPIP PNG for comment.