Ex-Miss Universe Malaysia Loses Brand Deal After Saying Blacks ‘Chose to Be Colored’

She previously identified herself as a "White girl."

Samantha Katie James

Miss Universe Malaysia 2017 Samantha Katie James has apologized for her controversial comments about the Black Lives Movement after facing a massive backlash that led to a petition seeking the removal of her crown.

In a series of Instagram Stories on Monday, James, 25, asked the Black community to relax and take the current situation as a “challenge” because it “makes you stronger.”


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This photo is everything 😍 @hannah_ryanna and her emotions 😂

A post shared by Samantha Brahmacharini (@samanthakayty) on

The beauty queen claimed that African American people actually “chose” to be born colored — and that they did so to “learn a lesson.”

“Accept it as it is, till now hunger and poverty still exists. It is what it is. It’s inevitable. Best you can do is remain calm, protect heart, don’t allow it to crumble,” she added.That’s your responsibility.”

Image Screenshot via @samanthakayty

James pointed out that the matter has nothing to do with her since she does not live in America. However, she believes that those who respond in anger suggest that Whites have “won.”

That means it has power over you. They have power over you,” she noted in one Story, which included a meme captioned “foolish humans.”

Image Screenshot via @samanthakayty

James also took a jab at people who “mindlessly follow” what everyone else does. She blamed them for creating “unnecessary anguish.”

Identifying herself as a “White girl,” James then shared that she herself had been insulted all her life, particularly during her time at school. The 25-year-old is a Malaysian national of Chinese and Brazilian descent.

“I’ve always wondered all my life why I’m born here in Malaysia with a Chinese mother and a Brazilian father and raised by an Indian family,” James shared.

“So I speak from first-hand experience, not from what I read online.”

Image Screenshot via @samanthakayty

Soon after posting her Stories, James received critical comments from users who called her “stupid” and urged her to take down her remarks.

However, she retaliated by suggesting that such responses only gave her power and that she has no plans of following popular opinion.

Image Screenshot via @samanthakayty

In response to one user who asked her to explain what she meant by choosing to be born colored, James cited the concept of “souls.”

“Like our souls chose this life, this country, this race, this human form,” she argued. “Specifically. For a reason…”

Image Screenshot via @samanthakayty

James’s Stories eventually went viral, drawing further criticism from social media users. Some launched a Change.org petition asking Miss Universe Malaysia to revoke her title.

Among those who condemned James is “Crazy Rich Asians” star Henry Golding, who is also Malaysian. He called her out for spewing “racist sh*t” and described her as “ignorant” and “selfish” in his Instagram Stories.

“You have zero idea what Black people have to go through on a day-to-day bases [sic]. For you to be talking racist sh*t on a platform like yours needs to be called out.

“It is hundreds of years of oppression and injustices kept in place by money and power from people such as yourself. Ignorant, selfish people.”

Image Screenshot via @henrygolding
Image Screenshot via @henrygolding
Image Screenshot via @henrygolding
Image Screenshot via @henrygolding
Image Screenshot via @henrygolding

The massive backlash appears to have resulted in Instagram removing the verified badge from James’s profile. On Tuesday morning, she “apologized” and acknowledged that she does not understand the issue completely.

“I do hear you, I’m sorry, I know you’re hurting,” she wrote. “I know it’s unfair. I’m not in your shoes to understand this fully.”


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I made it 🙏🏼 Thank you all for the constant support❤❤ 😘😘I’m so very grateful for all the positive and kind words, thank you for believing in me! Thank you to @elainedaly and to all my fellow contestants, my sisters ❤ without you ladies I wouldn’t have made it here today, Miss universe Malaysia is my motivation to do double and to give 200% in whatever I do, it’s brings me up, it gives me purpose. It brings out the best in me.. up till today, I will never forget my first time joining in 2013, thank you to @andreafonseka and my fellow sisters from the 2013 batch ❤ you ladies are all my inspiration till today! especially to my family and my girls (you know who you are) , to @kiran_jassal I will continue to carry forth the pride and glory that you’ve brought to Malaysia 😊 Finally, do not let fear stop you, keep trying until you get where you wish to be! Just ljke how I did, Take your competitors as your inspiration to work harder! Im still on cloud nine! 😱🙏🏼 I promise I will be the best of myself and keep bettering day by day 👊🏻⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀ ⠀ #missuniverse

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She continued, however, to expound what she had meant by choosing to be colored.

“Throughout my journey, I have learned that we are more than just this temporary physical body, like an avatar, merely a tiny speck of dust in this vast universe, we tend to overlook that from time to time. In our process towards evolution as a human being, on Earth. We chose our body, our family, our place of birth, our name and our lessons from the path we take [that is] tailor-made for us.”


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I’ve been meaning to write a message to All the women out there who go through cyber bully, I wanted to say that you’re not alone, don’t ever let anyone tell you who you need to be, how you need to look , there is no ideal body, there’s just us as a unique individual being and that’s special, I got ‘fat legs’ ‘chunky legs’ “lose some weight because your legs look bulky” you know what these legs helped me run 21 km , these legs helped me stand In 6 inch heels for more than 12 Hours (even tho I had blue toes by the end of the day 😂 @manuela.bruntraeger knows) these legs help me kick butts of whoever that (nevermind cyber bully me) but do it to my sisters out there, how I got these fat legs? To Remind you it’s a sign of strength , hours and months and years at the@gym since I was 18 till now, from running 10 km an hour , every single day, because I got addicted to feeling so damn good after, clearing my mind and recharging my body and soul, then weights to challenge myself and build a strong determined mindset , getting stronger and better by the day, now@able to run half marathons! What an achievement , im so proud of myself, these legs came a long way, from being injured in crutches to healing in 3 months (when doctors said 6) and straight away putting on my running shoes and ran a straight 10 km , the pain disappeared, I grew stronger than ever, and I’m here today in my bikini , proud of my self, mind and body for pushing myself to more than what I thought I could do, putting fear away and challenging myself as I grow through Life , I find so many new superpowers that was hidden inside me and they slowly start to bloom ✨💕 strong legs , strong healthy mind, strong soul , I want every woman out there to feel the same! 🤗🤗🤗 #missuniverse #strongwomen #phvegas #yamamay #chineselaundry #chihaircare

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James also claimed that she had “poorly articulated” herself and that she actually sent a “heartfelt” message. She vowed to improve her speech in the future.

“If I had been more attentive in how I wrote it, the message would off [sic] been understood as a heartfelt message to all victims of racism be it any color.”


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Malaysian makeup Velvet Vanity Cosmetics has since cut ties with James, condemning her tone-deaf remarks.

“Since the beginning of our journey, we are dedicated to cater to everyone albeit their skin colour so for us to support her (James’) wrongdoings would be contradictory to our brand name.

“Any posts featuring (James) was made way before this case and we are not affiliated with her anymore.

“As a brand, we support #blacklivesmatter and we would never associate ourselves with racist behaviours in any way,” the makeup brand wrote in a statement.

Feature Images via @samanthakayty

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