Miss Universe Selfie Stirs Up Controversy [WATCH VIDEO]

By Ambika Thakur | 2 years ago
Miss Universe Selfie Stirs Up Controversy [WATCH VIDEO]

Lebanon’s Miss Universe challenger Saly Greige has come under fire over a group selfie in which she appears with Miss Israeli. It led to several calls for her to be confiscating her title. Controversy has emerged from the problematic geopolitical quandary between two nations. Read on for further details.

According to USA Today, Greige been forced to apologize for the selfie, taken by Miss Israel Doron Matalon, during a tour of South Florida as they prepare to take part in the prestigious pageant in Miami. Now Miss Lebanon is facing repercussion back home after she posed for a picture taken by Miss Israel.


Lebanon considers Israeli a rival state and outlawed contact between the nations. Greige,  who hails from Al-Koura, North Lebanon, claims she had done her best to avoid Matalon. Unfortunately, she had been caught by surprise when the photograph was taken. Matalon shared the photo on Instagram on Jan. 11, 2015,  featuring herself next to Greige, Miss Slovenia and Miss Japan. The picture shows the four delegates in Wynwood with the caption: “Good morning from us!”

Greige took to social media to defend herself against calls for her amputation from the title. She said that Matalon all of sudden jumped in and photobombed the three other beauty queens. Greige explained her side on her Facebook page.

To all my supporters and Lebanese citizens, I would like to thank you indeed for your continuous support of Miss Lebanon at the Miss Universe contest …The truth behind the photo: Since the first day of my arrival to participate to Miss Universe, I was very cautious to avoid being in any photo or communication with Miss Israel (that tried several times to have a photo with me) … I was having a photo with Miss Japan, Miss Slovenia and myself; suddenly Miss Israel jumped in, took a selfie, and put it on her social media … This is what happened and I hope to have your full support in the Miss Universe contest.

Moreover, Greige posted Matalon’s photo on Instagram over the weekend but cropped out the Israeli contestant.

Matalon also addressed the controversy on her Instagram account.

לא שזה הפתיע אותי, אבל חבל שאי אפשר לשים את העוינות בצד , רק לשלושה שבועות שבהן יש לנו הזדמנות נדירה להכיר בנות מכל העולם (וגם מהמדינות השכנות) לשמוע על התרבויות השונות ולחוות את החוויה הזאת ביחד. It doesn't surprise me, but it still makes me sad. Too bad you can not put the hostility out of the game, only for three weeks of an experience of a lifetime that we can meet girls from around the world and also from the neighboring country. @salygreige_official @miss_israel @missunews @missuniverse @missuniversusa #lebanon #israel #missuniverse2014

A photo posted by Doron Matalon (@doronmatalon_official) on


It’s not the first time that political feuds  have caused problems at the  Miss Universe pageants. Miss Kosovo Mirjeta Shala and Miss Albania Fioralba Dizdari withdrew from the 2013 competition because the host country Russia does not recognize Kosovo as an independent country. Fadil Berisha, an official photographer of Miss Universe, is the national director for both Albania and Kosovo. He advised  Ms. Dizdari to withdraw as Kosovo cannot compete to avoid further repercussions.

Contestants from 88 countries are competing in the pageant. The winners of 2015 Miss Universe pageant will be announced on Sunday, Jan. 25, 2015, on NBC at 8:00 p.m. with a simulcast on Telemundo.

Stay tuned for more details about the pageant here on Movie News Guide (MNG).

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Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/Anonymous