As protestors spill onto the streets in Minneapolis and other American cities to protest the killing of George Floyd and police brutality, the cause has gained support across the globe. In Malaysia, many have jumped on social media to voice support, and the #BlackLivesMatter movement has also helped to shed light on targeted attacks in the country's own backyard.
But Samantha Katie James, popular influencer and Malaysia's 2017 representative for Miss Universe, went a different path.
On Monday, she took to Instagram to say that Malaysians shouldn't be "busy bodies" in a matter that was clearly American. She went on to say some other deeply troubling things, which we won't repeat in writing.
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James is of Malaysian Chinese-Brazilian heritage, and based on her comments, she identifies as white. She has over 160,000 thousand followers on Instagram and has partnered with many cosmetic and fashion brands.
Malaysians have called for the pageant to strip her off her title. Despite repeated calls from the public to take down her posts, James' posts are still up on her account at time of publish. She has responded to some of the backlash through her Stories feature and stands by her comments.
Miss Universe Malaysia Organisation has published a statement in response. An excerpt of the statement reads:
We note that these posts are inappropriate, offensive, unacceptable, and hurtful. The views expressed on Samantha's personal Instagram account are her own personal views and are neither the view nor position of MUMO. Samantha is not contracted to MUMO and has not represented the organisation since 2018.