Miss Universe Canada 2020 Nova Stevens has revealed that she had been getting racist comments online.
On Tuesday, Nova shared a photo of herself filled with screen shots of negative comments which were in Tagalog.
“Here we go again. I’ve been receiving this picture in my inbox a lot lately,” she wrote on Instagram.
Some of the comments on her photo, which included English translations, were “nognog (‘N words’),” “katakot (scary),” “akala ko engkanto (‘I thought she was a ghost’),” “over well done ang chicken, charge sa grill man (‘burnt chicken’),” and “tostadong tostado na nga nasunog pa (‘she is toasted and burned’),” among other disrespectful remarks.
“With all that has been going on in the world, ‘black lives matter,’ ‘Asians are human,’ you would think this would bring us together. Instead, it looks like some people are still stuck in their ignorant and racist ideologies,” said Nova.
The Canadian beauty queen said she was “really disappointed with some pageant fans from certain countries.”
“Your hate takes away the fun and enjoyment from this once in a lifetime experience. Is it really that difficult to spread love instead of hate?” said Nova.
“No one is saying you have to support all contestants, all we’re saying is that you support your delegate without bringing others down,” she said.
“You don’t need to dim someone’s light in order for you to shine.”
The beauty queen said the “world is evolving, people are realizing that beauty is not exclusive to one specific group of people.”
She added “the definition of beauty applies to all; because beauty can be seen in different shapes, shades and sizes.”
The Canadian delegate asked her followers to “see the beauty that is in this world. We don’t need to look the same, we just need to treat each other the same.”
In the latter part of her post, Nova included an update, clarifying that her note was “not a generalization” and she did not recognize the languages in the comments.
“In case it’s not clear. I don’t think all Filipinos are racist. That would be ridiculous to say,” she said.
“This picture with texts was constantly being sent to me recently which is why I shared it.”
Nova said she was aware that “there are multiple countries that think this way.”
“I’m sharing this as a teaching moment so that we can make pageants fun and enjoyable for all,” she said.
The Miss Universe candidate said all the girls competing have worked hard for the pageant “and deserve to have the best experience.”
“Cheer for your girls with love and respect for the other delegates because they too are deserving of the ‘Miss Universe’ crown. Spread love not hate,” she ended her note.
On Wednesday, the Canadian beauty queen shared another photo of herself, this time full of positive comments.
“Let’s end things on a positive note. To my Filipino fans: I’m sorry if my previous post caused you any harm,” she wrote.
“My post wasn’t intended to incite more hate; rather shed light on the toxicity that sometimes hails from fans (from all over the world),” she added.
Nova said the last thing she wanted was for anyone to experience hate, asking her followers not to generalize Filipino fans.
“Not all are racist. Some of my closest friends who also happen to be some of the nicest people I know are Filipino,” she wrote.
“In every group of people; whether black, white, green, yellow, red, purple, there are always a few bad apples,” said Nova.
“I know for a fact there is more good than evil in this world; Which is why it’s important to shed light on the darkness so that our collective light can illuminate the world.”
Nova will be representing Canada at the Miss Universe pageant which will be held at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Florida, on May 16 (May 17 in Philippine time).
Meanwhile, Rabiya Mateo will be representing the Philippines in the pageant.
Filipinos can watch the Miss Universe 2020 pageant live through iQiyi app and website. – Jannielyn Ann Bigtas/RC, GMA News