On Thursday, the Huffington Post reported on several leaked emails from Miss America officials in which they made disturbing comments that shamed former pageant winners for their bodies and sex lives. This revelation resulted in Dick Clark Productions, which produces the pageant, announcing that it has cut ties with theMiss America Organization. Moreover, calls are mounting for Miss America's top leadership to resign, with 49 Former Miss Americas calling for the departure of CEO Sam Haskell and other prominent organization members.
UPDATE: The Miss America Organization suspended Haskell late Friday pending an investigation. "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable," Haskell wrote in a statement, according to USA Today. "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."
The emailed conversations came from those in senior positions at the Miss America Organization, including Haskell and former top pageant telecast writer Lewis Friedman. The exchanges involved cruel and disparaging remarks made about former pageant winners. In announcing its split with the organization, Dick Clark Productions noted the "unacceptable" nature of the content of the emails, saying:
We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation ... Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.
The following is a rundown of the most offensive comments made by the Miss America officials about former pageant winners, which reflect a complete disrespect for the women who chose to participate in the nationwide competition.