Miss America CEO, 3 others resign over derogatory mails

Jon Howard
December 26, 2017

The Miss America Organization was founded in 1921 and nowadays annually hosts pageants open to women aged from 17 to 24 who live in the United States to participate.

A former Miss America whose weight was ridiculed by pageant officials in emails wants anyone who was warned away from her to come forward.

The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss Americas, including Hagan, signed a petition calling on the group's leadership to step down because of the emails.

Weidner told the AP Saturday night she has "nothing but love for the Miss America Organization and the incredible women" who comprise it.

Miss America CEO Sam Haskell has reportedly stepped down, effective immediately.

As his departure was announced, Randle apologized on Saturday to 2013 pageant victor Mallory Hagan, whose weight he and others ridiculed in the emails.

In the emails reported by HuffPost, Haskell jokes about renaming former Miss America winners, now labeled by the organization as "Forever Miss Americas, "C-s" and calls former winners a "pile of malcontents and has beens who blame the program for not getting them where they think they can go".

Also exiting is president and chief operating officer Josh Randle, who tendered his resignation. "It does not reflect my values or the values I worked to promote at the Miss America Organization".

Commenting on the emails, the president of the organization, Josh Randle, apologized to 2013 victor Mallory Hagan, whose sex life and weight he was discussing with other employees and said that the correspondence "does not reflect my [Randle's] values or the values I [Randle] worked to promote at the Miss America Organization".

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No evacuations were ordered, but the street was closed while authorities examined the large box. No additional information has been released on the package's contents.

"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".

One of the main recipients of fundraising from the Miss America Organization says it's reviewing its association with Miss America amid the New Jersey pageant's scandal over emails targeting past winners for abuse.

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.

On Thursday, HuffPost published e-mails sent between Haskell and organization employees that included derogatory critiques of previous Miss Americas.

Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, who turned 29 Saturday, was a subject of some of the worst of the emails between Haskell and other members of the organization.

The top leadership of the Miss America Organization, implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives, resigned on Saturday, with the outgoing president apologizing to a victor whose weight he ridiculed.

In the emails reported by HuffPost, Haskell jokes about renaming former Miss America winners "C-s" and calls the past winners a "pile of malcontent", among other misogynistic and fat-shaming claims.

Baraquio said she was shocked when she read the emails because Haskell was always cordial to her, but there was no denying the communications were unacceptable once she saw them in black and white. While the board approved Haskell's resignation, Randle and Weidner will remain in their positions for a transition period.

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