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ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Former Miss America winners and state pageant officials are split over the leadership and direction of the organization, which was rocked by a 2017 email scandal that led to the resignations of its top leaders.
Representatives from 22 state pageants have signed a petition calling for the resignations of the new Miss America board, including Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and President and CEO Regina Hopper, The Press of Atlantic City reported Saturday.
The article goes on to state the following:
But in a letter to the newspaper, 30 former Miss Americas said they “fully support” Carlson, Miss America 1989, and the board members “who are and have been working tirelessly to move our program forward.”
The Miss America organization is regrouping after a December scandal in which emails surfaced showing that CEO Sam Haskell and others mocked winners’ intelligence, looks and sex lives. Haskell resigned Dec. 23, followed by board members.
The shake-up at the organization has resulted in the top three positions being held by women, and the new leaders have begun making changes. The swimsuit competition has been dropped and in the evening-wear portion contestants will be allowed to wear something other than a gown if they want. The talent portion of the contest will remain.
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