People Want The Miss America Pageant Shut Down After A Shocking Email Leak

miss america

The Huffington Post has published a confronting exposé on the Miss America beauty pageant, featuring jaw-droppingly sexist emails between several board members, including the CEO.

The emails are from a three-year period, and were provided to HuffPo by an internal source at Miss America. They include derogatory comments about former contestants, including disparaging remarks on their weight, sex life, career and perceived success, and seem to demonstrate an enduring disrespect for the women involved.

Many of the emails are between Sam Haskell, the CEO, Lewis Friedman, the lead writer of the pageant telecast, and board members Tammy Haddad and Lynn Weidner.

It seems like the board had it in for a number of former contestants, if not former contestants in general, as evidenced from this particularly distasteful exchange:

HuffPo alleges that the Miss America board specifically targeted former contestant Mallory Hagan, going so far as to change the rules of the pageant in order to torpedo her successful coaching business.

The board members in question also drove Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America winner and TV personality, off the board of directors by undermining her authority and telling others that she “couldn’t be trusted“.

She responded to HuffPost’s revelations, saying:

As a proud former Miss America and former member of the Board of the Miss America Organization, I am shocked and deeply saddened by the disgusting statements about women attributed to the leadership of the MAO. No woman should be demeaned with such vulgar slurs. As I’ve learned, harassment and shaming of women is never acceptable and should never be tolerated. Every MAO executive and board member who engaged in such crude behavior and signed off on it like it was no big deal should resign immediately. The Miss America Organization, which is tasked to uphold an almost 100 year old tradition of female empowerment and scholarship, deserves better. I hope all former Miss Americas, state and local titleholders and volunteers will join me in a collective effort to fight for the dignity of this great institution.

Former contestants have taken to Twitter to express their outrage, and their support for Hagan in particular. Many are calling for the entire board of directors to resign or be fired; some commentators are suggesting that the pageant be dissolved entirely.

It’s a bad year for bad men and their enablers, and the only shame is that people had to suffer for so long in the lead up to this reckoning. Read the full Huffington Post report HERE