Miss America President Reportedly Resigns After CEO's Vulgar Emails Surface

Partners are cutting ties and three top leaders are out after horrifying emails surface.
 By Neal Broverman December 23 2017 6:28 PM EST

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.

Leaked emails show Haskell allowed or participated in discussions of former pageant winners where their sex lives and weight were derided; 2013 Miss America victor Mallory Hagan (pictured above, at the 2013 GLAAD Awards) received the lion's share of criticism.

Randle, responding to a 2015 email in which Haskell had written demeaningly about the former pageant victor, wrote, "She's a healthy one!" the Huffington Post reported.

The president, Josh Randle, told The Associated Press his comment responding to an email to his private account about the physical appearance of 2013 victor Mallory Hagan came months before he started working for the Miss America Organization in 2015. The news came moments after COO Josh Randle and chairman Lynn Weidner resigned.

Her request might be a precursor to legal action against the organization or its former officers regarding her post-Miss America work as a pageant interview coach.

The organization's outgoing president has apologized to Hagan, whose weight he and others ridiculed in an email exchange.

"I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas".

The pageant has for years faced criticism that it objectifies women, and the scandal over the emails has led to renewed scrutiny of the annual event in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

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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.

"Miss America is more than a title, it's a movement of empowering young women everywhere to achieve their dreams", the organization's website states.

Haskell made the derogatory comments about the former pageant winner's weight in response to an email from Weidner, who attached a photo of several former Miss Americas but did not comment on the picture herself, the news website said.

The organization's CEO, Sam Haskell (main picture), resigned from his post Saturday, a day after he was suspended by the board.

The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss America signed a petition calling on the group's leadership to step down.

The internal emails, which the BBC has not seen, are reported to have included name-calling, slut-shaming and fat-shaming of some of the contestants who had taken part in the pageant.

While Haskell's resignation is effective immediately, Weidner will stay on for the next 90 days as the company transitions.

Mr Haskell said he had made "a mistake of words".

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