MANILA, Philippines – If President Rodrigo Duterte gets his way, Steve Harvey won't be hosting Miss Universe 2016.
According to Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, Duterte expressed disapproval when he was told Harvey would be hosting given his contract with the Miss Universe Organization.
"When I told the President about that, negative agad. Ang sabi niya, 'Hindi puwede!'" said Teo on Thursday, September 1, during a press conference at Malacañang Palace.
(When I told the President about that, he gave a negative response. He said, "That can't be!")
Duterte might even raise the issue with the Miss Universe Organization himself.
"That's what he told me: 'I'm going to talk to Miss Universe because I don't want him to be the host of the Miss Universe,'" related Teo.
The Tourism Secretary, who championed the Philippines' hosting of the pageant, said she would tell the Miss Universe Organization about the President's concerns.
"Yes of course, I will tell them," she told reporters.
But because of Harvey's 5-year contract to host the pageant, it's possible he will still host the event despite Duterte's misgivings. If so, Teo would find a way to appease the President.
"Siguro that is what I'm going to do para hindi talaga magagalit ang president, siguro maglalagay ako ng girl from the Philippines [who] will co-host," she said, adding the co-host might be from the media.
(Maybe that's what I'm going to do so that the President won't get mad, maybe I will choose a girl from the Philippines who will co-host.)
Harvey, when he hosted Miss Universe 2015, infamously misread the name of the first placer, making the audience think it was Miss Colombia Ariadna Gutierrez who won the crown. His mistake, many pageant-watchers said, ruined the moment of the real winner, Miss Philippines and now Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
Teo said Miss Universe 2016 will take place on January 30, 2017, but candidates will start arriving in the country on January 13.
The Department of Tourism has identified Metro Manila as the venue for the main events while "ancillary" events will be held in Davao City, Cebu City, Iloilo City, and Vigan City. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.