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Former Miss America Calls out Entire Board, Says They All Knew About Emails

Miss America Mallory Hagan

Mallory Hagan, along with other former Miss America titleholders, has called for the board to resign due to the horrendously sexist emails that were leaked from the computer of Miss America CEO Sam Haskell and others. Haskell has stepped down, but the board still mostly remains as of now so Hagan and her fellow titleholders are calling for them to be removed as well.

The emails, which leaked last Thursday via The Huffington Post, are filled with sexist, misogynistic, and shaming language. Here’s one email exchange between Haskell and Lewis Friedman, the lead writer of the Miss America pageant telecast:

 “I have decided that when referring to a woman who was once Miss America, we are no longer going to call them Forever Miss Americas….please change all script copy to reflect that they are Former Miss Americas!”

Friedman replied, “I’d already changed “Forevers” to “Cunts.” Does that work for you?”

Haskell’s short reply came quickly: “Perfect…bahahaha.”

Haskell is regarded as the man who helped bring the Miss American pageant “back” to its full glory, but that is no excuse for his behavior, nor the fact that Board Members–which includes women–allowed it to happen and paid him a huge salary even when the organization was in the red.

The emails especially highlight Haskell’s hateful attitude towards Ms. Hagan. In an email exchange between himself and Friedman, they slut and fat shame her after getting forwarded an email with rumors about her sex life and weight gain.

Haskell forwarded the email to Friedman saying, “Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory.”

Friedman replied,Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade As she continues to destroy her own credibility, her voice will attract less and less notice while she continues her descent to an unhappy pathetic footnote.”

Friedman ended the email with, “Ps. Are we four the only ones not to have fucked Mallory?”

Haskell replied and said, “It appears we are the only ones!”

This sort of disgusting behavior extended to actually making it so that Hagan’s business would fail and to ruining her reputation, all because she had the nerve to question some of his actions. Haskell’s insecurity caused him to organize a plan to turn Hagan into a blight. “I really think the best way is to shut down her social media, and convince the Formers to ostracize her.”

Tammy Haddad, one of the Board members, was part of the emails going back and forth. When Haskell first brought up finding out a way to handle Hagan she said, “Hi. I am so sorry. It is ridiculous but she is not going to stop. She has no control. I think u should hire an investigator to get something on her.”

Sources close to Haddad says that the intent behind this email was not to hire someone to personally smear Hagan but see if she was posting information on internal boards.

According to USA Today, Brent Adams, Haskell’s assistant was the one who gave the emails HuffPo says that he tried to bring the information to the partner company Dick Clark Productions.  But when the company confronted the board, the board decided to let the partnership dissolve rather than fire Haskell and leadership. So Adams went to the media.

“It’s time that these women who this organization is supposed to be about — it’s time that these former Miss Americas, contestants, volunteers, the people who have been putting in the real work — take back this organization from this misogynistic, narcissistic man who’s turned it into his own vanity project,” Adams says.
“(Haskell) weaponized this nonprofit to destroy the careers and businesses and reputations of the very women that this was supposed to be empowering. It’s not just Sam. The entire board through their silence has been complicit in enabling this behavior to go on.”

The recent actions taken by the board to do “damage control” have been deemed unacceptable by former titleholders, especially since, according to Hagan, they were aware of this information before the story broke and chose not to take action until later. “These were seen months ago, and they chose to do nothing about it,” Hagan says. “As opposed to what was best for the organization, which would be to immediately say, ‘Well, this is definitely not good, and the people involved in these emails need to go.’ ”

“There’s no excuse, there’s zero excuse and they know that, which is why their statements have been vague and halfway contradictory,” Hagan says.

The women have organized a call for a new chairperson and created a change.org petition to try and remove the reaming twelve board members. In addition to Haskell president Josh Randle, board chairwoman Lynn Weidner and board member Tammy Haddad resigned over the weekend. The petition had more than 8,000 signatures early Thursday evening.

“The women who were part of Miss America to me are modern women, they are smart, well-rounded,” she said. “They are exactly what they should be, they just aren’t being organized by the people they should be organized by.”

Damn right.

(via USA Today, image: lev radin / Shutterstock.com)

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