The top leadership of the Miss America Organisation has resigned, sweeping out officials implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives.
The statement came hours after 49 former Miss Americas signed a petition demanding the resignation of Haskell and other pageant officials, as did more than 1,600 state and local title-holders, contestants and pageant volunteers. 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.
Gretchen Carlson - a pageant victor in 1989, a former board member of the Miss America Organization, and a former Fox journalist who sued Roger Ailes for sexual harassment and exposed a culture of terror at Fox News - was also regularly criticized and described as a "snake" and "INFUCKINGSANE". The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner.
Hagan said more board and staff members need to resign, including Meyers and Vice President of Field Operations Marc Angeli.More news: Three takeaways from Steelers' win over Texans
Randle noted that the worst communications were exchanged in 2013 and 2014, years before he joined the Miss America Organization, and said the article's implication of "complicit participation on my part in a years long array of inappropriate email communication" is untrue.
Prior to the MAO board's decision, dozens of former beauty queens had signed a letter calling on the organization's leadership to step down.
The board on Friday suspended Haskell, pending an investigation into the emails.
The emails included one that used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, one that wished that a particular former Miss America had died and others that speculated about how many sex partners Hagan has had.More news: Lalu convicted in fodder scam, party to appeal in high court
"My hope is that this story that broke will bring light to the type of behaviour that's been in leadership of the Miss America Organisation and really help us put in place some people who care and who embody the mission of Miss America", Ms Hagan said in a Twitter video.
The Miss America Organization did not immediately return a Daily News request for comment.
Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America and a television presenter, said the alleged emails contained "disgusting statements about women" and "vulgar slurs".
Hagan said Randle did call her and apologize via voicemail, but she hasn't responded yet.More news: Rupani sworn in as CM of Gujarat second time
Haskell replied, "It appears we are the only ones!"
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