Miss Belize organiser drops Miss Universe franchise

February 17, 2023 in International

National Director and President of the Miss Universe Belize Organisation, Romeo Escobar announced he is dropping the Miss Universe franchise.

In a letter to the Miss Universe Organisation (MUO), Escobar wrote “recently the Miss Universe Organization was purchased by JKN Global Group. With that comes many changes and new implementations of how their business model works, this includes bidding for our franchises as directors. This does not align with the way I conduct business and believe it is not a sustainable way to keep a partnership long term with its directors. Because of this, I have decided to part ways with Miss Universe and give up the franchise.”

He added: “It has been an honour being your National Director. I am proud to have changed the face of pageantry in Belize. THANK YOU my beautiful Belize. I can’t wait for the next journey in my life. This is not a Goodbye, it is a see you later.

Escobar has been in charge of Miss Belize since 2018.

Escobar’s decision to drop the franchise is the latest blow for MUO, which was recently purchased by Thai businesswoman Jakapong ‘Anne’ Jakrajutatip for a reported US$ 20 million.

The franchise owners of Miss Ghana, Miss Seychelles and Miss Mauritius recently announced they were dropping the franchise for similar reasons. There are reports that other national directors are considering dropping the franchise.

Miss Belize Ashley Lightburn, who represented the country at the 71st Miss Universe competition in New Orleans, USA last month, will retain the title until her contract ends in August.