Miss America bosses resign over ‘appalling’ email scandal disparaging former contestants.
“This afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Miss America Organization accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Haskell, effective immediately,” the board in a statement Saturday.
“The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner. At the Board’s request, Ms. Weidner has agreed to remain on the Board for up to ninety days to facilitate a smooth transition for the [Miss America Organization] to new leadership,” the statement added.
The organization’s president and chief operating officer, Josh Randle, has also submitted his resignation, according to The Huffington Post.
Haskell was first suspended by the organization’s board of directors on Friday after The Huffington Post published emails between Haskell and organization officials that referred to Miss America contestants in derogatory and crude terms.
The CEO’s resignation comes just two days after the news outlet originally reported on the emails, which prompted the the board of directors to investigate.
Haskell had said the emails had been “selectively edited” and that he wrote them “under stress of a full year of attacks by two Miss Americas.”
“This was not the CEO of an organization laughing at inappropriate jokes and speaking about a former Miss America in email conversations,” Haskell said.
The board initially said it considered the matter “closed” after Haskell’s apology.
Former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson and two other former Miss Americas had called for the CEO and other organizers to step down after the leaked emails revealed the disparaging comments about former pageant winners.
The organization’s longtime producer, Dick Clark Productions, also cut ties with the pageant over the emails.
“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 [Miss America Organization],” Carlson, who was crowned Miss America in 1989, tweeted on Thursday.
Fellow pageant winners Mallory Hagan and Kate Shindle also called for Haskell and the entire board to leave in order for the organization to “reclaim its rich history and catalyze what is a clearly necessary evolution.”