A simple selfie turned into a diplomatic nightmare for a few Miss Universe pageant girls.
Sarah Idan, the current Miss Iraq’s, relatives had to pack up and flee their home country all because she took a photo with a fellow contestant, reported Fox News.
Idan shared the image of herself and Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, with the caption, “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel” along with a few heart emojis.
The ladies were at the Miss Universe International Beauty Pageant lead a slew of death threats and online abuse for posting the photo and being in a bikini.
“The two of those things together caused a mess for her back home where people made threats against her and her family that if she didn’t return home and take down the photos, they would remove her title, that they would kill her,” Adar Gandelsman told Israeli TV, the Times of Israel reported.
According to her, Idan hoped to simply present a message of peace, not incite rage. Her social media was filled with comments claiming that the beauty queen was hurting the Palestinian movement.
“She did it to so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” Miss Israel said of her friend.
Iraq and Israel have a longstanding conflict and are reportedly enemies, reported the Times of Israel.
Idan issued an apology in an Instagram statement when she apologized to “all those who consider [the picture] harmful and that she isn’t signaling “support for the government of Israel.” According to Idan, Gandelsman initiated the photo, saying she it could a symbol of peace between Jews and Muslims, but she wouldn’t be taking down the pictures regardless of the backlash.
At this year’s pageant, Miss South Africa — Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters — was crowned winner.
The former Miss South Africa was held at gunpoint just one month after being crowned and has now gone on to win the new crown. The competition included women from 92 countries and took place on Sunday night at the Planet Hollywood casino and resort in Las Vegas. As the new Miss Universe, Nel-Peters will earn a year-long salary, an apartment in New York City during her reign and even more prizes.
The 2017 show was host Steve Harvey’s chance at redemption after he flubbed the announcement of the 2015 Miss Universe winner, misreading the winner and crowning Miss Colombia when Miss Phillipines was the true winner.
“I want to apologize emphatically to Miss Philippian and Miss Columbia. This was a terribly honest human mistake and I am so regretful,” he wrote at the time.