Miss America Email Scandal Costs Television Partner And Exposes Dark Side Of Beauty Pageant
If the Miss America Organization does not act fast, millions of viewers will not hear "Here she is, Miss America" at the pageant's finale.
Spotlight On Haskell
The harsh spotlight of public scrutiny has landed on Sam Haskell, the CEO of the Miss America Organization. Haskell has been involved with the legendary beauty pageant since he was a board member in 2005. Haskell rose through the Miss America ranks and eventually became the CEO of the organization, which came with an annual salary of $500,000.
The organization's CEO transferred made some numerous changes to the pageant such as moving the pageant, from its longtime headquarters in Las Vegas to moving back home to Atlantic City, New Jersey, and bringing the exhibition back to prime time on the ABC television network and partnering with Dick Clark Productions.
Targeting Associates And Alums
Haskell had numerous adversaries and even aimed them to make their lives miserable. He had an intense hatred toward television personality Gretchen Carlson, who was crowned Miss America back in 1989.
Carlson challenged Haskell's leadership numerous times and even refused to attack a former pageant alum when the former Miss America participant wrote a damaging tell-all that exposed the organization.
When Haskell learned of Carlson's refusal, he continued to build dissident against the former Fox News television personality within the organization's leadership team. Carlson distanced herself and later, left the organization's leadership board.
The CEO also had a bone to pick with Miss America 2013, Mallory Hagen. Haskell interfered with numerous parts of her personal life such as pressuring her boyfriend and his employee, Brent Adams, to dump Hagen and fall in love with Haskell's daughter, Mary Lane.
Haskell poked fun of the 2013 winner's weight problem and even laughed when Friedman called her a parade balloon. He also tried to stop Hagen from pursuing other career opportunities such as training future Miss America contestants.
Dick Clark Productions Exits
Dick Clark Productions, who produced the pageant for several years, decided to cut ties with the Miss America organization immediately. In a statement, the production company behind the American Music Awards, the Golden Globes, and So You Think You Can Dance, knew about the disturbing emails and actively encouraged the Miss America Organization board to look into the actions.
"Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified Miss America Organization that we were terminating our relationship with them," said a Dick Clark Productions spokesperson.
An Ongoing Affair
Haskell is not the only leader that has experienced this backlash for his misogynistic intentions. The public outcry against misogyny in the entertainment industry began when sexual misconduct allegations surrounded disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein.
Other men that fell from their influential positions included longtime Today anchor Matt Lauer, celebrity chef Mario Batali, and music pioneer Russell Simmons.