The Taj Mahal situation isn’t going away quietly for Miss Universe winner Olivia Culpo, even if she herself wasn’t on board for the controversial photo shoot.
Facing possible legal action for her unauthorized photoshoot at the Indian landmark, Culpo is speaking out about her reservations about the photo shoot.
Olivia Culpo reportedly did not seek permission from the Archaeological Survey of India to to shoot at the Taj Mahal, leading the ASI to file a formal complaint. According to Fox News, that means Miss Universe could face anything from a fine up to time in prison. India’s Heritage Act forbids any commercial activity at the Taj Mahal or any other historic site.
Culpo said she even raised questions during the shoot.
“I mean, I’m an employee of the Miss Universe organization and following directions given to me,” Culpo told the Providence Journal. “I guess their vision was, ‘What’s better to identify India than the Taj Mahal?’ But unfortunately it’s something that was highly offensive. Honestly, I did say out loud at one point, ‘Isn’t this a little inappropriate?'”
“It’s upsetting to me that I was a part of that,” she added. “It’s really upsetting because I loved my visit to India, and I would love nothing more than to go back, even in the near future.”
The Miss Universe Organization has risen to Culpo’s defense, saying that her Taj Mahal shoot was never meant for commercial use.
The organization said: “Throughout her reign, the Miss Universe Organization continually creates video diaries of our titleholder to keep fans and sponsors up to date on her travels and to share in the experience… As part of these videos, we sometimes incorporate sponsors into these shoots. The filming that took place outside the Taj Mahal was never intended to be used as a commercial nor was it meant in any way to be disrespectful.”