E-Mail Scandal Rocks Miss America to Its Core

MISS AMERICA LEADERSHIP SHAKE-UP

 BEHIND THAT SMILE: E-mails suggest the Sam Haskell was far less pleasant than he seemed 

BEHIND THAT SMILE: E-mails suggest the Sam Haskell was far less pleasant than he seemed 

Just before the end of another year, the Miss America Organisation has been rocked by a scandal, which saw the top leadership of the organisation, including CEO Sam Haskell the man widely credite for reviving the ailing pageant, resigning on Saturday. The pageant now faces an uncertain 2018 following the revelations that have shocked the pageant world. 

Late this week, evidence emerged that Haskell and several other members of the organisation and a writer for the pageant engaged in e-mails filled with derogatory and disrespectful comments towards former winners of the pageant and one even contained a death wish towards former Miss America, Kate Shindle. 

 MALIGNED MALLORY: 2013 was targeted by the organizaton 

MALIGNED MALLORY: 2013 was targeted by the organizaton 

Among the evidence posted by Huffpost, it came to light that Haskell has been slut-shaming, fat-shaming and ostracizing winners and formers for years. Two of the biggest victims were 2013 winner Mallory Hagan and 1998 winner, Kate Shindle. Hagan was referred to as promiscuous, fat and "trash" by Haskell who questioned her relationship with his former PA. Haskell also ensured that Hagan lost her income as a pageant coach. In an e-mail about the death of a former America, former writer Lewis Friedman's subject line was "It should have been Kate Shindle" and Haskell replied that it made him laugh. The leadership also targeted prominent media personality, Gretchen Carlson (1989), which led to her resignation from the board. 

 CARLSON CALLS FOR JUSTICE: Gretchen Carlson joined 48 other formers to call for the resignation of the board. 

CARLSON CALLS FOR JUSTICE: Gretchen Carlson joined 48 other formers to call for the resignation of the board. 

On Friday, 49 former Miss Americas called on the board to resign. Carlson and Miss America 1948, BeBe Shopp Waring (87), were among those who called for the board to step down. Haskell had stopped the tradition of calling the former queens "forever Miss Americas" and referred to them as "a pile of malcontents". 

 SHOCKED SHINDLE: 1998 winner Kate Shindle has expressed her shock at reports that members of the team wished that she had died instead of a former winner 

SHOCKED SHINDLE: 1998 winner Kate Shindle has expressed her shock at reports that members of the team wished that she had died instead of a former winner 

Haskell, who joined the organization in 2005, and was widely praised for modernising the pageant, making it popular again and helping it to get back on network television, was suspended on Friday and resigned on Saturday. Josh Randle, President of the MAO, and Lynn Weidner, the Chairperson of the Board, also resigned on Saturday. While Haskell's resignation will be effective immediately, the other two executives will remain with the organisation for two weeks to ensure a smooth leadership transition. 

Global Beauties has been an advocate for respect, tolerance and transparency in the pageant industry for the past 20 years. We strongly condemn the actions of Haskell and everyone involved in this scandal. We appreciate the organisation's swift response to ensure that the organisation's image will be restored and wish the new leadership all the best in doing so. May the Miss America brand not be damaged beyond repair by the inexcusable behaviour of a few individuals. 

Written for Global Beauties by Andre Sleigh 

Photos courtesy of Associated Press, Getty Images