Miss America leadership resigns in email shaming scandal

27 December, 2017, 02:46 | Author: Marjorie Miles
  • Miss America CEO resigns amid leaked fat shaming email scandal

The head of the organization that stages the Miss America beauty pageant and three other leaders with the group resigned on Saturday after a report this week alleging that emails he had sent were derogatory toward past winners.

The leaks also showed an email chain between Haddad, Haskell, Randle and Las Vegas socialite Lynn Weidner that appeared to show them mocking the weight of 2013 Miss America victor Mallory Hagan.

In other emails, a former writer for the pageant notes the death of one former Miss America and muses that he wished 1998 Miss America Kate Shindle, who wrote a book critical of the Miss America Organisation, had died instead. "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable".

The scandal began Thursday, when the Huffington Post published leaked emails showing pageant officials ridiculing past Miss Americas, including crass and sometimes vulgar comments about them.

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Yashar Ali, who wrote the Huffington Post article, defended its accuracy on Friday night, saying he was given the emails by two sources "who felt that Mr Haskell's behaviour was egregious".

In another exchange from August 2014, Haskell forwarded an email that said Hagan's hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan's sex life, as well as her recent weight gain to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, "Not a single day passes that I am not told some terrible story about Mallory". Haskell was referring to Hagan's boyfriend at the time who was an employee of Haskell's. "Having somebody bully you, demean you, degrade you in any way is not OK".

Publishing its statement on Twitter, the Miss America Organization said Mr Haskell had agreed to the suspension.

Miss America announced on Friday that they would suspend Haskell pending an investigation into the emails where he joked about contestant's being "c-ts" and called women "huge" and "gross". "For that, I deeply apologize".

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She also said pageant officials "told me which former Miss Americas I wasn't allowed to associate with or pose for photos with".

"As Miss Americas, we strongly reject the mischaracterizations of us both collectively and individually".

The emails already cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall the week after Labour Day each year.

In addition to Dick Clark Productions severing ties with the pageants, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is conducting an investigation to determine whether they will still accept funding from the nonprofit.

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Haskell replied, "It appears we are the only ones!"

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