Thailand’s Miss Universe steps down due to cyberbullying

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In less than a month since Weluree “Fai” Ditsayabut has been named the Miss Universe of Thailand, the pageant beauty queen has already given up her title due to the cyberbullying she experienced.

The cyberbullying erupted after comments she made online against the country’s controversial ousted prime minister.

The 22-year-old beauty queen said she tried to remain strong despite the stress and pressure she was experiencing, but it was seeing the effects on her mother which pushed her to relinquish her crown.

“I felt under pressure. I tried to improve myself, but what I could not stand was to see my mother stressed,” she told reporters in Bangkok in an emotional interview.

She supposedly made comments on her Facebook page right after she won the beauty pageant last May 17. She apparently referred to pro-government demonstrators also more locally known as ‘red shirts’ as “dirty” and “evil activists” who should “all be executed.”  She was also quoted as saying that her country would be “clear if the dirty red shirts left the country.”

“I am not neutral. I am on the side of His Majesty the King,” she said in her recently-deleted Facebook comment from November.

According to Khaosod English, the comment was posted just immediately after the country’s political crisis began. The pageant controversy emerged at the height of a political crisis that has plagued Thailand for months, and prompted the military to seize power in a coup in May.

Members of pro-government supporters groups questioned the victory of Weluree on various online forums and social media sites. A Facebook page was formed in protest of her crown and it garnered thousands of “likes.” However, some comments on the page focused on her connections just to win, or her appearance, instead of her anti-red shirt comments.

As the criticisms raged, she fired back on Twitter at commenters who continue to put her down with derisive, expletive-laden responses.

“Animal! Women with big breasts are f*#%ing halfway to victory,” she wrote, among other things, to those who insulted her weight, according to The Bangkok Post.

On May 19, Weluree apologized for the comments she made.

 “I was careless. I was young. I did it recklessly,” she said in an interview on Thailand’s Channel 3.

It seems, however, that it was too late already  for the actress-host and English student as she expressed in her statement earlier this week.

“At first, my family was happy for me when I was crowned. But there’s no more happiness following waves of criticism from the society.” She said the decision was hers alone, and thanked the pageant judges and her fans for their support.

It is yet to be determined what will happen to  Weluree’s crown. A possible scenario is that the crown will be passed to the competition’s runner-up and audience favorite Pimbongkod “Ellie” Chankaew.

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