According to several reports, Lopes was taunted with racist messages in English and Portuguese on the website of a “white supremacist” group called Stormfront. One commenter allegedly bemoaned that a “monkey wearing a dress” won the contest while another claimed that she ought to play “the daughter of King Kong” in a Hollywood film.
Unfortunately this isn’t the first time that members of the Stormfront.org have cruelly ridiculed beauty pageant winners. “That disgusting black cannot be Italian,” was one of the messages supposedly written on the site weeks ago insulting Brazilian-born Silvia Novais after she won the opportunity to represent Italy in the next Miss World contest.
Brazilian police have been investigating the Stormfront group over suspected ties to neo-Nazi organizations. In the meantime, Lopes spoke out on Wednesday against being the target of racism:
“Racism doesn’t affect me. Racists are the ones who should seek help because it isn’t normal that a person should think like that in the twenty-first century. There is no basis for that type of prejudice.”Lopes herself has faced other troubles this week including rumors that she falsified documents in order to enter (and subsequently win) the Miss Angola UK contest.
Image- AFP via USA TODAY (“Miss Angola 2011 Leila Lopes is crowned Miss Universe 2011 by Miss Universe 2010 Ximena Navarrete of Mexico at the 60th annual Miss Universe beauty pageant at the Credicard Hall in Sao Paulo on Sept. 12, 2011.”)
Online Sources- ABC News, Guanabee, Portal Susse, Observador Global, El Universal