Miss Universe Colombia organization issues an apology to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray

20 Nov 2020 | Angelique Reyes

Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray visited Colombia recently where she served as one of the judges at the grand finale of Miss Universe Colombia 2020 but during the competition the host of the show introduced the queens in Spanish as “Australian by birth” who “represented the Philippines” in the 67th Miss Universe pageant. The broadcast also misspelled her name and aired “Catriona Garay” instead.

Catriona posted some of her pictures taken by celebrity photographer BJ Pascual as she promoted a fundraising video by the latter on his YouTube with the Philippine Red Cross as its beneficiary. She captioned those pictures as, “This Filipina has landed,” along with a series of emojis featuring an alien, a UFO and a rocketship.

Some of the pageant fanatics and her fans applauded her caption as they believe that the queen was not happy the way she was introduced at the beauty pageant that implied that she was more of an Australian rather than Filipina. Some fans believed that the queen was very uncomfortable with the way she was introduced at the competition and above that her surname was also spelled wrong.



But, very recently the National Director of Miss Universe Colombia, Natalie Ackerman have issued an apology to Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray and stated that the mishap happened was “due to some language barrier.” In her statement she has stated, “The translated language that was sent for introduction is, ‘Born in Australia, from the Philippines who is Miss Universe 2018.’ It is honestly part of the cultural differences as here in Colombia, we regard the value of unity and cross-cultural importance.” She assured Gray and Filipinos that “there was no malice intended” over the mistakes they have made and hoped that the beauty queen “will not take this matter against us and forgive us and our management.”

Natalie also stated, "We invited Catriona in the first place because we believe in Filipinos and having a personal Dubai-based Filipino friend who is like a brother to me. I have always admired the Filipino culture and kindness of the people from the Philippines.”

Catriona was born in the coastal city of Cairns in Queensland in Australia. Her father, Ian Gray, is reportedly a Scottish-born Australian, while her Filipino mother, Normita Magnayon, hails from Albay and this was not the first time her roots were questioned or became the subject of intrigue. During her initial part of Miss Universe 2018 reign, her being half-Australian similarly sparked discussion among pageant fans.

In a 2018 interview with Boy Abunda, Catriona said: "Even though I was born in Australia, that's not my choice. It was more of my parents' choice...I chose to come here." Catriona is yet to comment on their apology but her fans have enraged with the way she was introduced and have believed that the apology issued is not how it should have been.