Miss America former winners, officials split over leadership

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Los Angeles, July 8 (IANS) Thirty former Miss America winners and state pageant officials are split over the leadership of the organization after a December scandal.

Representatives from 22 state pageants had signed a petition calling for the resignation of the new Miss America board, including Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and President and CEO Regina Hopper.

Following the petition, former Miss America winners said to the newspaper The Press of Atlantic City that they fully support Carlon and other board members as they have worked tirelessly to move the programme forward.

According to the newspaper, Miss America Organization (MAO) 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 faced severe after effects of the scandal which further resulted in his and other board members’ resignation.

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The new leadership of the organization has gone through several changes. In June, MAO announced the election of three new board members, following the resignations of Jennifer Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens.

On asking about the petition, Hopper said that there are always those who disagree with or find it hard to accept change, organization welcomes “those who want to move forward and be a part of a revitalized programme dedicated to providing scholarships and opportunities to all young women”.

Supporting MAO, former Miss America winners said: “We hope the voices of our majority can and will be heard.”

–IANS

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