Winner of radio-TV personality contest loses title after offensive tweets come to light

Winner of radio-TV personality contest loses title after offensive tweets come to light

SINGAPORE - The winner of a contest seeking a new face for Singtel TV has lost her title in the span of 12 hours, after offensive comments she posted online were made public.

The organisers of the talent contest, Singtel TV-Masti Showcase 2015, revoked the title of Miss Starlet 2015 from university student Yasmeen Munira after they found out about rude comments she made about "ugly" Singaporeans and overweight people.

The 21-year-old Singaporean's remarks on Twitter, which includes posts made in 2014, were shared on citizen journalism website Stomp shortly after she was crowned Miss Starlet in the competition on Saturday.

She wrote in one comment: "Why is it so hard for fat people to understand that they should not occupy seats on the train?". In another tweet, she commented: "Singaporeans are so ugly...", and added that "putting in a little bit of effort to look good won't kill you".

The winner of the Miss Starlet title would be a potential anchor on Singtel TV. This contest was organised by Singtel TV and Radio Masti, a Bollywood music station that is part of Mediacorp's XFM96.3

A spokesman for the competition's organising committee, Radio Masti managing partner Renuka Arora Bhagat, said the committee was alerted to the Stomp report by a listener on Sunday morning.

After a short discussion, said Ms Renuka, they decided to strip Ms Munira of her title and hand it to the first runner-up, Ms Vijayalakshmi.

Ms Munira's tweets "go against our principles, and people have been hurt by them" said Ms Renuka. "Her comments were not what we would have expected from someone at the forum yesterday," she said, referring to the competition.

The committee "had no choice" but to revoke Ms Munira's title, she added.

In a Facebook post, Ms Munira said she has closed the social media accounts in which she had posted "ugly and horrible thoughts".

"I am regretful for my actions on social media and, indeed, this is a painful lesson for me," she told The Straits Times. "Our experiences shape us and teach us to be better people in life. I would like to put this episode behind me and move on."

As for future events, Ms Renuka said the committee will be more stringent in screening potential winners, beyond assessing them based on their application forms and performance at the competition.

She said: "At the end of the day, the title is about how one thinks and presents themselves, not what they look like."

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