Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach felt the need to speak up after receiving backlash from pageant fans in Vietnam for a tweet she made during the recently concluded Miss Universe pageant.
In her tweet, Pia expressed her surprise that there are more pageant fans in Vietnam than in the Philippines. This after Khan Van Nguyen Tran, the country's official candidate for Miss Universe, secured a spot in the Top 21 after getting the highest fan votes in the competition's 69-year history.
"Mas maraming pageant fans sa Vietnam kesa sa Pilipinas?" Pia wrote in her tweet, which appeared to have offended Vietnamese fans after they got the impression that the Filipina beauty queen was raising doubts over the results.
Mas maraming pageant fans sa Vietnam kesa sa Pilipinas? 🤯🤯 #MissUniverse— Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (@PiaWurtzbach) May 17, 2021
"How would you feel if you got the highest votes but people doubted you? We are not as big as you but we give our representatives more than our verbal supporters. If you doubt the results of the vote, the crown you have is also questionable! Your attitude never changes," one Twitter user wrote.
"I used to like Pia very much, but not anymore. I'm Vietnamese, the words u said about Vietnam caused controversy and many bad words about our Miss Khanh Van. Our country has unity, and most of all, we support Khanh Van wholeheartedly in material and spiritual ways," another said.
In a statement she posted this Tuesday morning, May 18, Pia addressed the backlash over her tweet, saying she "didn't mean any harm by it at all".
"Woah! Woke up to so many angry fans from Vietnam! I think some of you misunderstood my tweet last night!" she said.
"For years I was told (and I believed) that the Philippines had the most pageant fans in the world. But yesterday Vietnam got the highest votes in history!" she continued. "Which meant I was wrong. Which surprised me! That's it! That's all I meant by my tweet!"
"I wasn't being sarcastic or questioning your win at all!" she added. "Hope this clears it up. Congratulations Vietnam for the highest votes in the Miss Universe history!"
Both Khan Van and Rabiya Mateo, the Philippines' representative for the Miss Universe pageant, failed to enter the Top 10 during the coronation night held at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, USA.
Andrea Meza of Mexico was crowned Miss Universe 2020. Her runners-up include Julia Gama of Brazil, Janick Maceta of Peru, Adline Castelino of India, and Kimberly Jiménez of Dominican Republic.