Miss World 1970 contest was held in London, United Kingdom. There was a dispute because the organizers had allowed two entries from South Africa, one black and one white. Women’s liberation activists protested, and flour was thrown. During the evening, Bob Hope was heckled.
When the results were announced, there was even more controversy. Jennifer Hosten became the first black woman to win Miss World, and the black contestant from South Africa finished second. The BBC and newspapers received numerous complaints about the result, with allegations of racism coming from all sides. Miss Sweden received four first-place votes, while Miss Grenada received only two and the most overall points. Miss Sweden, who was expected to win, finished fourth.
Additionally, the Premier of Grenada, Eric Gairy, was on the judging panel. Even though judges from other countries took part in the contest, there were many accusations that the contest was rigged. The audience chanted “Sweden, Sweden” after the contest in the street outside Royal Albert Hall. Julia Morley, the organizing director, resigned four days later because of intense pressure from the newspapers. Later, Miss Sweden, Marjorie Christel Johansson, said she had been cheated out of the title.
Eric Morley, Julia Morley’s husband, was the chairman of the Miss World franchise’s company. Eric Morley provided the judging panel’s ballot cards and explained the system of majority voting to disprove the accusations. Based on these cards, Hosten placed higher than Miss Sweden and the other five finalists in the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th positions.
Below are some glamorous photos of Jennifer Hosten from the Miss World 1970 contest.
Miss Grenada Jennifer Hosten (seated) celebrates after being crowned the new Miss World, surrounded by the four runners up left to right: Irith Lavi - Miss Israel, Jillian Jessup - Miss South Africa, Pearl Jansen - Miss Africa South and Marjorie Christel Johansson - Miss Sweden.