Fact Check: Is Miss USA boycotting Miss Universe over transgender participants? Viral claim debunked

Viral claim about Miss USA boycotting Miss Universe over transgender participation has been debunked. (Image via missworldbulgaria.org)
Viral claim about Miss USA boycotting Miss Universe over transgender participation has been debunked. (Image via missworldbulgaria.org)

The most recent claim to go viral on social media is that Miss USA has declared to boycott the Miss Universe pageant because of the participation of transgender contestant Rikkie Valerie Kolle, who was crowned Miss Netherlands 2023 on July 8. However, this is a false claim and holds no truth to it.

The article reporting the same was published in The Dunning-Kruger Times, which is a satirical website that publishes fictional socio-political stories based on real people. The website posted the made-up story about the Miss Universe pageant on July 11.

It stated that 20-year-old Natasha Berkelston from Ashbaucher, Indiana, who has won a number of beauty pageants in her state is now Miss USA.

However, a place called Ashbaucher does not exist in reality. Moreover, the name of the person itself is fictional as 24-year-old Morgan Romano is the current title holder of the American beauty pageant.

As per the satirical article, Natasha referred to Rikki Valerie, Miss Netherlands, and told Joe Barron, an ALLOD Correspondent, that she would not be competing against a man. The article also said that she did not want to share the same locker room with Nikki, since those are "sacred" areas and holds no place for a man.

The Dunning-Kruger Times, which produced the false story about the beauty pageant boycott is part of America’s Last Line of Defense, a network of parody and satirical websites. All the articles published here are credited to an author called Flagg Eagleton, who is described as a Patriot. The stories published on this site often bait a section of American readers to share fake news.

What else did the Dunning-Kruger Times say about Miss USA boycotting Miss Universe?

The satirical article ended by saying that Rikkie Valerie won Miss Netherlands’ pageant by guilting everyone with her essay-sized answers instead of preaching world peace. It then went on to falsely claim that Valerie demanded that everyone accepts the transgender community and values them.

The Dunning-Kruger Times also mentioned that the judges at the competition feared retribution from the queer community and caved.

The article took on a humorous note when it claimed that Natasha Berkelston (the made-up Miss USA) will return to her duties as the title holder of Miss USA, which would be cutting inauguration ribbons at car washes. It also added that she would be trying to make deals with American magazine Playboy for discreet shoots.


The satirical website is named after the Dunning-Kruger Effect which is considered a cognitive bias in psychology. It refers to scenarios where people with low expertise, ability, and experience in intellectual and social domains tend to overestimate their knowledge or ability in the area.

Morgan Romero's successor will be the one participating in the upcoming Miss Universe pageant

Some people on the internet were confused at first when the false article started making rounds on social media. However, after going through the article in detail, several anomalies were found.

The current Miss USA. Morgan Romano’s term as the title holder in the beauty pageant does not provide her with the opportunity to boycott the upcoming Miss Universe contest.

This choice belongs to Romano’s successor, who would be crowned in the fall, before the Miss Universe contest takes place in 2024. The title for 2023 currently belongs to 29-year-old R’Bonney Gabriel.

On the other hand, the Netherlands has already chosen Rikkie Kollé as its representative for the next Miss Universe contest. Rikkie became the second trans woman who was selected to compete in an international beauty contest. She is also the first transwoman to win the title of Miss Netherlands on July 8, 2023.

Morgan Romano has not made any statement about Rikkie Valerie's participation in the 2024 Miss Universe pageant. Thus, the claim made by The Dunning-Kruger Times regarding Miss USA boycotting the international beauty contest remains false.

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