Sexual harassment is a hot issue not only in Hollywood, but in the Philippines too. Early this month, at least three Miss Earth 2018 candidates have come forward with claims of being subjected to sexual harassment. Many have expressed dismay over the controversy, including Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran.
In an interview with Bulletin Entertainment, the former beauty queen said this is the first time she has heard of such a thing allegedly happening in local pageantry.
“During my time, we don’t have issues like that. I haven’t heard any victims of sexual harassment in pageantry for so many years. Yes, there’s a possibility it also happened in the past, but as far as I am concerned, it never did,” she said.
Moments after the alleged “revelations” of Miss Earth-Canada Jaime VandenBerg, Miss Earth-England Abbey-Anne Gyles-Brown, and Miss Earth-Guam Emma Sheedy came out, several Filipino beauty queens also spoke up against sexual harassment.
Miss Global Philippines 2016 Camille Jensen “CJ” Hirro even charged “sexual harassment in the pageant world is real” via a post on Instagram.
Margie believes that if it’s true, these girls are doing the right thing.
“Sexual harassment is something we should not tolerate. People who experience it or who are experiencing it should speak and fight for their rights.”
Asked what her initial response or course of action would be if it happens to her, Margie exclaimed: “Sipain ko siya (I’ll kick the sexual predator)!”
Last October, the Senate passed on third and final reading a bill seeking to protect women from catcalling and other forms of street-based harassment.
Under Senate Bill No. 1326 or the “Safe Streets and Public Spaces Act of 2017,” catcalling, wolf-whistling, cursing, leering, and groping will be penalized.
Persistent requests for name and contact details and the use of words tending to ridicule on the basis of actual or perceived sex, gender expression, or sexual orientation and identity in public spaces will also be penalized.
We caught up with Margie at the Cultural Center of the Philippines, where she serves as the chairperson. There, she discussed the improvement the government owned building is doing in time for its 50th anniversary next year.
This includes the opening of new Black Box Theater.
Margie also revelead they are planning to put up a public Wi-Fi zone in CCP, promising it will be a more “millennial-friendly” environment in the coming years.