Miss Universe Colombia organization apologizes to Catriona Gray over pageant introduction

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, November 19)— The Miss Universe Colombia organization has apologized to Catriona Gray over the mistakes in her introduction as a judge of the pageant.

The local contest earlier drew flak from netizens after the Miss Universe 2018 winner was introduced as an "Australian by birth" who represented the Philippines in the beauty contest.

Gray’s surname — which was flashed on the screen during the panel introduction, was also misspelled as "Garay."

The Miss Universe Colombia organization assured Gray there was no malice intended on their part, saying the errors were due to "language barrier" problems.

"We also would like to express our apologies for the mistake of her last name due to some language barrier," read the statement dated Wednesday and signed by the organization's president and national director Natalie Ackermann.

"The announcement that she was born in Australia — the translated language that was sent for introduction is — ‘Born in Australia, from the Philippines who is Miss Universe 2018', it is honestly part of the cultural differences as here in Colombia, we regard the value of unity and cross cultural importance," it added.

The organization also expressed hope the 26-year-old beauty queen would "not take this matter against us and can forgive us and our management."