In a surprising turn of events, the company behind the Miss Universe pageant, known for its tradition of celebrating women’s beauty and grace, has filed for bankruptcy just days before the 2023 Miss Universe pageant.

While the world eagerly anticipates the glamorous event set to take place this Saturday, the JKN Global Group, which purchased the organization in 2022, finds itself grappling with financial instability that could cast a shadow over the pageant’s future.

Thai business tycoon and transgender activist Anne Jakrajutatip of the JKN Global Group acquired the Miss Universe Organization for a whopping $20,000,000 in 2022, describing it as “a strong, strategic addition to our portfolio.” However, in just a year’s time, the franchise appears to be on shaky ground.

In a public declaration sent to the Stock Exchange of Thailand, the JKN Global Group acknowledged its precarious situation, stating, “JKN Global Group Public Company Limited (the ‘Company’) has filed a petition for business rehabilitation with the Central Bankruptcy Court under the Bankruptcy Act B.E. 2483 (1940) (as amended) (the ‘Bankruptcy Act’) on November 8, 2023. The Central Bankruptcy Court subsequently issued an order to accept the petition for business rehabilitation of the Company on November 9, 2023.”

As uncertainty looms over the Miss Universe Organization’s future, the pageant’s loyal supporters and contestants remain steadfast in their determination to see the event through. This year’s Miss Universe pageant will feature a historic moment as it welcomes at least two transgender women who identify as women, marking a first for the prestigious competition.

Miss Portugal, Marina Machete, a talented flight attendant, and Rikkie Kollé, the first transgender Miss Netherlands, are set to grace the stage and compete for the coveted title. Their presence underscores the Miss Universe Organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion, which has been a hallmark of the pageant for over a decade.

In 2018, Spain’s Ángela Ponce made history as the pageant’s first transgender contestant, although she did not advance to the finals. This year’s contestants, however, are poised to make a lasting impact and continue breaking barriers.

In September, Marina Machete released a heartfelt video expressing her concerns about the increasing levels of transphobia and intolerance around the world. Despite these challenges, she remains optimistic and believes in the power of Miss Universe to bring about positive change. She stated, “Trans women are women, full stop,” a sentiment echoed by the Miss Universe Organization itself.

In a statement to CNN following Miss Portugal’s crowning, the Miss Universe Organization reaffirmed its commitment to celebrating all women, emphasizing, “We are here to celebrate women, full stop. This has been true for more than a decade, and we’re proud to have made this change very early on, compared to other programs.”

As the Miss Universe Organization grapples with its financial woes, it remains to be seen how this will impact the pageant’s future operations and whether it will continue its legacy of promoting diversity and inclusivity on a global scale.

Despite numerous inquiries, both the JKN Global Group and the Miss Universe Organization have yet to respond to requests for comment from Fox News Digital.

In a time when traditional values are often challenged, the Miss Universe pageant has stood as a symbol of grace, beauty, and inclusivity. The organization’s current predicament serves as a stark reminder of the challenges it faces in an ever-evolving world, where controversies and financial woes can threaten even the most iconic institutions. The world watches with bated breath as the 2023 Miss Universe pageant unfolds, hoping that its timeless message of celebrating women will prevail, despite the stormy waters it currently navigates.