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    Miss America Pageant Rocked by Scandal Over CEO's Slut-Shaming Emails

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    Leaked emails published Thursday by the Huffington Post show that Sam Haskell, the CEO of the Miss America Organization, repeatedly used demeaning language when referring to former pageant winners and slut-shamed some in email exchanges.

    In one email from August 2014, Haskell reached out to Lewis Friedman, the lead writer of the Miss America pageant telecast, to inform him that previous winners of the competition would be regarded as "Former Miss Americas" instead of "Forever Miss Americas."

    Friedman, however, had a different title in mind, folks.

    "I'd already changed ‘Forevers' to ‘C*nts,'" Friedman responded. "Does that work for you?"

    Rather than condemn the writer, Haskell said, "Perfect… bahahaha."

    According to the report, Haskell regularly endorsed the writer's sexist messages in emails, sometimes even going as far as calling Friedman's antics "funny."

    However, the conversations with Friedman weren't the only revelations the report made. Tammy Haddad, a media consultant and DC power connector, also had a thing or two to tell Haskell about the pageant's winners. Haddad was a member of the Miss America board until she resigned following the Post story.

    In May 2014, Haddad sent Haskell an email calling some former Miss Americas a "pile of malcontents and has-beens who blame the program for not getting them where they think they can go." The consultant added, "80% of the winners do not have the class, smarts, and model for success."

    "YOU have to let them go. You don't need them. They need you," Haddad raged on. "We also have to punish them when they don't appreciate what we do for them."

    Haskell called her advice wise.

    Another email from August 2014 recalls the moment Haskell received an email from an acquaintance which stated that the hairdresser of Mallory Hagan, the 2013 Miss America winner, was making comments about the winner's sex life and weight gain.

    Forwarding that email to Friedman, Haskell wrote, "Not a single day passes that I am not told some horrible story about Mallory."

    Friedman, sticking to his usual script, responded by saying, "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."

    Tagging his own footnote onto the email, Friedman added, "Ps. Are we four the only ones not to have f**ked Mallory?"

    Haskell found this comment unremarkable, apparently.

    "It appears we are the only ones," the CEO replied. He then claimed that Hagan had slept with someone he knew and how he told the man's mother that her son "needs to have a blood test because we lost count of the number of men she slept with at 25."

    Though the list of emails showing Haskell's behavior has only recently been revealed, they had been shared with Dick Clark Productions, which produces the nationally televised broadcast, several months before the Post article dropped.

    In August 2017, Regina Hopper, a former Miss America board member, and Brent Adams, one of Haskell's top employees, informed the production company about Haskell's behavior. With copies of the conversations in tow, they met with Amy Thurlow and Mark Bracco, both executives at the company and, incidentally, board members on the Miss America Organization (MAO).

    Though the two were thanked for providing the emails by the Thurlow and Bracco, nothing was done after the execs presented the findings to the MAO board.

    Hopper and Adams had hoped for a change in leadership, according to the Post. Adams instead received a cease-and-desist letter from a law firm representing MAO.

    According to the Post, it read, "Your deliberate actions constitute a clear violation of the Non-disclosure Agreement you knowingly and willfully entered into…the letter directed to the Chairman of the Board from Dick Clark Productions, dated September 13, 2017, noticed [sic] us of your illegal disclosure of information, which includes several internal email communications."

    Dick Clark Production severed ties with the pageant after seeing the content of the emails.

    Responding to the Post article, Dick Clark Productions released a statement, saying: "Several months ago, Dick Clark Productions was made aware of a portion of the emails that were referenced in the December 21 Huffington Post article. We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization (MAO) 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 Post announced that Haddad and Friedman both parted ways from the organization after the Thursday revelations. Haskell, however, has not. A total of 50 former Miss Americas launched a petition Friday calling on Haskell and other organization leaders who "sat by without objection while such derisive comments were passed around" to resign, AP reported. The initiative was launched by former Miss North Carolina Jennifer Vaden Barth.

    ABC is set to air the 97th Miss America Pageant on September 10, 2018.

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