One photobombed selfie has turned into an international incident at the Miss Universe beauty pageant. Now, the bickering of two battling beauty queens has sparked political controversy.
Miss Israel, Doron Matalon, posted a photo of herself with three fellow contestants—Miss Lebanon, Miss Slovenia, and Miss Japan. The ladies are all smiling for the photo and it looks innocent enough, but behind the scenes it has sparked an all-out feud.
According to Miss Lebanon, Saly Greige, the selfie was supposed to be private but was photobombed by Miss Israel. Apparently, Miss Lebanon has been widely criticized in her home country for appearing in a photo with Miss Israel—all due to the history of political and military conflict between the two countries. Miss Lebanon posted a cropped version of the selfie with an accompanying explanation on her Instagram and Facebook page. In her message she claims to have avoided being in any photo with Miss Israel—or any communication at all.
“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.”
Miss Israel responded, writing on Facebook:
“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.”