Three leaders for Miss America Organization resign over email scandal

Updated 2017-12-26 18:30:18 Xinhua

One day after 49 former Miss Americas called for the Miss America Organization (MAO) leadership to resign, three leaders of the U.S. national organization did so on Saturday, including a chief executive officer and a president.

According to a MAO statement, the organization's CEO Sam Haskell, Board chair Lynn Weidner, and President and Chief Operating Officer Josh Randle all resigned.

A relevant board member Tammy Haddad already resigned on Friday.

The biggest resignation in the organization's history was triggered by an exclusive report published by the Huffington Post on Thursday revealing nearly three years of internal MAO emails, which showed offensive words about former Miss Americas.

Haskell, Randle and Lewis Friedman -- a former writer for MAO, and board members Weidner and Haddad are main names involved in the controversial email exchanges, which are provided by unidentified sources.

According to Huffington Post, the offensive languages referred to former Miss Americas' weight or their private sex lives. Some are even as worse as curses.

In an email expressing his condolence to Haskell on the death of former Miss America Mary Ann Mobley, Friedman said, "It should have been Kate Shindle" -- former Miss America in 1998, who disagreed on Haskell's high salary in her book. Haskell said he appreciated Friedman's saying.

In an open letter from 49 Miss Americas, they said, "We strongly reject the mischaracterization of us both collectively and individually." They are "deeply disturbed and saddened to learn of the sickening and egregious words used by Miss America leadership ..."

Responding to his suspension by MAO board on Friday, the embattled ex-CEO Haskell issued a statement that night, apologizing for "a mistake of words", but accusing the Huffington Post's story "dishonest, deceptive and despicable."

The MAO board said in its latest statement that they will "conduct an in-depth investigation into alleged inappropriate communications and the nature in which whey were obtained."

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