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Miss America CEO resigns amid offensive email scandal

Miss America CEO resigns amid offensive email scandal
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By Euronews
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The CEO of the Miss America Beauty Pageant Sam Haskell has quit over leaked emails that denigrated contestants.

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The CEO of the Miss America Beauty Pageant has resigned.

Sam Haskell had been suspended by the Pageant's Board of Directors before his resignation was announced.

The director had been caught up in an email scandal. Leaked messages, which were published by the Huffington Post, showed Haskell using offensive and derogatory language about Miss America contestants.

Former winner Mallory Hagan was the focus of a number of the leaked exchanges.  Hagan was openly mocked in the emails as her sex-life was discussed and ridiculed. Hagan even appeared to be trying to damage Hagan's career following her victory in 2013.

Speaking to American news network NBC in response to the scandal Hagan said that "wasn't shocked, but [felt] validated by the emails". In a Facebook Live video Hagan also said;

“I’ve felt very strongly about these things over the last couple of years, and just didn’t have any way to prove that they were happening. So now that I have proof that they are happening, or they happened, rather, it feels pretty validating.”

In a statement posted on Twitter the Board of Directors said they'd accepted Mr Haskell's resignation - and thanked him for the years of work he'd contributed to the pageant.

Miss America Board\\'s statement on Haskell

49 former Miss America winners had previously written an open letter, calling for Haskell to leave the organisation.

Gretchen Carlson was another former winner who Haskell had named in the emails. She said that in spite of Mr Haskell's resignation more needed to be done to clean up the Miss America board.

Gretchen Carlson\\'s statement

Haskell has apologised for damage done by the leaked emails. However he has also called the revelations 'vicious' and says the emails were 'conveniently edited'.

Also leaving is Chair of the board Lynn Weidner. The board say she will help find Haskell's replacement before leaving.

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