“Dick Clark Productions says it has cut ties with the Miss America Organization over internal emails by pageant senior leadership that ridiculed past winners’ appearance, intelligence and sex lives,” the Associated Press reports.
The AP story continues, “The Huffington Post reported Thursday that the Miss America Organization’s CEO, Sam Haskell, exchanged emails with a writer for the televised pageant and others that included harsh and sometimes vulgar comments about past winners.
“Dick Clark Productions, which produces the nationally televised pageant broadcasts, tells The Associated Press that it has cut ties with the pageant over the emails, calling them ‘appalling.’”
Haskell, 62, is well-known in TV circles, as he was at the William Morris Agency for 26 years, rising to become its Executive Vice President and Worldwide Head of Television. He left William Morris in a management shakeup in December, 2004.
Writes USA Today, “Former Miss America Mallory Hagan, one of the pageant winners slut-shamed and fat-shamed in emails exchanged by the organization’s CEO, Sam Haskell, and board members, says she feels validated after the Huffington Post published the offensive messages.
“Hagan, who won the crown in 2013, shared her reaction with NBC’s Today Show Friday. ‘When I first read the emails in the article, I wasn’t shocked but I was validated,’ she explained. ‘For the longest time, I’d try to explain to people around me this is happening, or these things are being said. And (now I) have the ability to look on paper and say, “See, I told you.”’
The USA article adds, “In a statement, the Miss America Organization [MAO] told USA TODAY, ‘Upon learning of these emails, the Board of Directors acted immediately, forming an investigative committee and retaining independent legal counsel to conduct a full investigation of the matter.’ The statement…also noted the emails were obtained illegally and that ‘MAO does not condone the use of inappropriate language.’
To read more about this item we urge you to click here to read the original HuffPost exclusive story about the emails, to click here to read the AP story, and to click here to read the USA Today piece. At the end of the USA Today piece is the full statement from the Miss America Organization (which is a lot longer than the excerpt above).
Sam Haskell (screen grab from an interview found on YouTube)