Sam Haskell, CEO of the Miss America organization has resigned over leaked email that disparaged pageant contestant.
The organization stated it would accept Mr Haskell’s immediate resignation. President Josh Randle also says he’s stepping down. Haskell is “effective immediately,” while Weidner and Randle will be kept on for several weeks to help with the leadership transition.
The emails reportedly include vulgar references to past winners and comment about their physical appearance and sex lives.
Former contestants criticized the “appalling” revelations.
Following his suspension, Haskell apologized for “a mistake of words” in a statement Friday night, but said, “Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable.”
The Huffington Post published the alleged contents of three years of emails between Mr Haskell and other pageant officials, the emails included name-calling, slut-shaming and fat-shaming of some of contestants.
The Dick Clark Productions MAO’s sponsor had to cut ties with the long-standing pageant.
Dick Clark Productions stated on Friday that they had been aware of the emails months ago and were “appalled by their unacceptable content”.
49 former Miss Americas pressured Mr Haskell for resignation in an open letter.
Mallory Hagan a former Miss America winner, who was mocked in some of the emails stated she “wasn’t shocked, but [felt] validated by the emails”.
“For the longest time, I’ve tried to explain to people around me that this is happening or these things are being said,”
Mr Haskell stated, he had been “under stress from a full year of attacks by two Miss Americas, and while I don’t ever want to offer an excuse, I do want to offer context”.
but he also said the original story was “vicious” with “conveniently edited emails”.