Catriona Gray halts accepting applicants for Nas Academy course

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 8) — Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray will stop accepting new applicants for her course on Nas Academy amid the controversy involving the learning platform and renowned Filipino tattoo artist Apo Whang-Od.

Gray made the announcement on her social media page on Sunday by sharing the statement issued by her talent management agency.

"Cornerstone Entertainment, Catriona Gray and Nas Academy have agreed to stop accepting new applicants for the Catriona Gray Academy until the issue of 'Whang-Od' has been fully resolved," the statement read.

The beauty queen recently launched her "How To Be A Queen" course on the digital learning portal, where she is expected to discuss ways to boost self-confidence and widen opportunities.

Nas Academy, meanwhile, also announced that it will pause its operations in the Philippines. It said this is "to focus on strengthening our processes around how we collaborate with our partners."

This means new customers will not be able to purchase any course on the website until further notice, it said.

The company founded by Arab Israeli vlogger Nuseir Yassin, better known as Nas Daily, came under fire for allegedly creating the Whang-Od tattoo master class without the artist's consent.

Whang-Od's grandniece said the online course is a scam and that it did not have her blessing. But Nas Academy maintained the 104-year-old mambabatok herself approved of the project, as it uploaded a video of Whang-Od apparently affixing her thumbprint to the contract.

Nas Academy said it is "actively working" with the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples towards a resolution of the issue with all relevant stakeholders.