Miss America CEO Accused of Slut Shaming Past Winners
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Miss America CEO Accused of Slut Shaming Past Winners

The Miss America Organization is in the middle of a scandal after internal e-mails were leaked that allegedly revealed upsetting conversations between CEO Sam Haskell, board members and pageant writers in regards to the contestants.

The Huffington Post published a report about the internal correspondence in which Haskell ridiculed and also fat-shamed and slut-shamed past winners. In August 2014, Haskell sent an email to the lead writer of the pageant telecast, Lewis Friedman, referring to past winners as “Forever Miss Americas” to “Former Miss Americas.” Friedman responded, “I’d already changed ‘Forevers’ to ‘C–ts.’ Does that work for you?” Haskell replied with, “Perfect…bahahaha.”

Mallory Hagan, 2013’s winner, was a target in some of Haskell’s emails. “Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote,” wrote Friedman.

A Miss America Organization spokesman released a statement revealing that they had fired Friedman following an internal investigation. “the Board directed the organization terminate the relationship with most egregious author of inappropriate comments. In addition, the Board has started the process of instituting additional policies and procedures for communication.”

Hagan herself went on the “Today” show and talked about the emails. “When I first read the emails in the article, I wasn’t shocked but I was validated,” she said. “For the longest time, I’d try to explain to people around me that this is happening, or these things are being said. And to have the ability to look on paper and say, ‘See, I told you.’”

Dick Clark Productions cut ties with the organization. The production company, which is in charge of the nationally televised beauty pageant, released a statement.  “We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation,” the company said. “Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.”

Former Miss America Kate Shindle also responded with a statement, demanding the full Board of Directors to resign, specially Sam Haskell.

“Today, I read that a member of the production wished I were dead, and that Executive Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell laughed about it. I read that Board of Directors conspired to change the rules of the rules of the competition specifically to destroy another Miss America’s business. I read that that same board passed around photos to email each other degrading comments about Miss America’s body. I read that Haskell, who has described himself as ‘Gomer Pyle in a suit’ and just yesterday retweeted a quotes which reads ‘no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted’ thinks that it’s perfect to refer to the women of this program as ‘c–ts.’ It makes me physically ill,” she shared on social media.

Kate concluded, “the entire Board of Directors must immediately resign, including and especially Sam Haskell.  Only then can the women of Miss America reclaim its rich history and catalyse what is a clearly necessary evolution.”

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