Miss America Organization Leaders Resign After Leaked Email Scandal

CEO Sam Haskell, President Josh Randell, and Chairwoman Lynn Weidner (who also happens to be former Miss Jersey) of the Miss America Organisation all resigned on Saturday.

This comes two days after a report by Huffington Post, reveals how pageant officials ridiculed winners for their sex lives, intellect and appearance.

Weidner and Randell will stay on for a short period of time to “facilitate a smooth transition” at the request of the board, report says.

Haskell’s resignation, however, is effective iimmediately, according to statements from the Interim chairman of the board of directors, Dan Meyers.

In the wake of the email leak, a fourth board member, Tammy Haddad has also left the organisation.

The published emails shows offensive language used by Haskell to describe 2013 Miss America Mallory Hagan – commenting on her sex life and weight gain.

In another, Haskell forwarded an email from Haddad to another executive which Haddad refers to some former contestants as:

“pile of malcontents and has beens who blame the program for not getting them where they think they can go.”
She also said, “80% of the winners do not have the class, smarts and model for success.”

Following the release of the leaked emails, former Miss Americas call for the resignation of the organisation’s leadership in a statement:

“As dedicated members of communities, businesses and families, and ambassadors for the Miss America program across the country, we stand firmly against harassment, bullying and shaming — especially of women — through the use of derogatory terms meant to belittle and demean, We collectively call for their immediate resignation.”

Haskell had a few words to share after he was placed on leave, Friday, about the context of the emails.

“Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable,” wrote Haskell, in a statement disseminated by the Miss America Organization. “The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex employees. The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this non-profit.”

Former Miss America, Mallory Hagan, who was the topic of the leaked emails reacted to the resignation with a live video.

“I wanna say cheers to my birthday, and just the day in general, because it’s been a wild one,” she said while holding up a wine glass. “Many of you have written and sent your congratulations or condolences and I just want to say it’s been a pretty awesome day. I would be remiss if I didn’t say thanks to Brent (Adams, the Miss America Organization employee who spoke with Huffington Post) and all of the women in the Miss America organization,” She continued, “We would love your support and encouragement, but we also need your voices still. We’re not quite there, but we have much to celebrate, and I look forward to sharing the journey with all of you.”

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