December 14, 2018

Gretchen Carlson Is the New Chairwoman of the Miss America Organization

12 January 2018, 07:21 | Regina Holmes

Astrid Stawiarz Getty Images Gretchen Carlson will serve as chair of the Miss America Organization board of directors

Astrid Stawiarz  Getty Images
Gretchen Carlson will serve as chair of the Miss America Organization board of directors

In addition to Carlson, Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (Miss America 2012), Heather French Henry (Miss America 2000), and Kate Shindle (Miss America 1998) were also named to the Board as Directors.

In the days that followed, CEO Sam Haskell, President Josh Randle, and board Chairwoman Lynn Weidner resigned - all effective immediately save for Weidner, who was to stay on for 90 days in order to ease the transition.

This is a developing story.

In the shocking emails, pageant executives fat-shamed and slut-shamed 2013 Miss America victor Mallory Hagan and referred to former Miss Americas as "c-nts".

Haskell forwarded the email to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, "Not a single day passes that I am not told some disgusting story about Mallory".

Board member Tammy Haddad and former scriptwriter Lewis Friedman also made eyebrow-raising comments over email. Carlson had called for the entire board to resign after several members expressed support for the former leaders. The former CEO "regularly maligned, fat-shamed and slut-shamed the former Miss Americas, calling them shocking names and in one case laughing at the suggestion that one of the women should die".

The former pageant victor turned journalist made headlines in 2016 when she sued Fox News chief Roger Ailes for sexual harassment, in a case that forced him out of the network and resulted in a cash settlement.

Jan 2, 2018 Gretchen Carlson, the new Miss America board chair, speaking at a TED event in November.

The controversy cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year.

"The only solution that will #SaveMissAmerica is resignation of all board members", Carlson tweeted on December 27 in the wake of Haskell's resignation.

In making the announcement the Organization noted that most of the board's previous directors have resigned.

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