The beauty pageant circuit has come under fire as of late. Between the changing attitudes of the audience, the alleged behavior of some of the officials of various patents, and with some contests, the behavior of the owner themselves, there has been a lot of barbs thrown their way. Miss America seems to have some more.
But one of those contests is striking back. The Miss America organization is fighting back and banning states from participating in the contest or taking part in activities outside the pageant itself.
A number of Miss America organizations at the state level have been calling for changes at the national level. The issue seems to be how the CEO Regina Hopper and Board of Directors president Gretchen Carlson have been running things since they took over the roles back in January. In August of this year, 2018 Miss America Cara Mund accused Carlson and Hopper of bullying and trying to silence her, Calling for their resignation. A number of former Miss America title holders and 46 out of 51 state organizations (Washington DC has one as well as the 50 states) backed up these claims and supported Carlson and Hopper stepping aside.
However, for all the complaints and issues that have come up about how the organization is run, As the old saying goes, “Don’t Cross the Boss.”
The individual states that have been outright banned are organizations from Georgia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, and one other state that hasn’t been revealed yet. Along with those four, 15 other states are being warned with Probation and threats they too may get fired. It has not been made clear what any of the states actually did to get these punishments. Nor is it said what the four states that were banned did any worse than the 15 put on probation. More information on the issue may reveal itself with time, but right now there is a lot of mystery over this issue and what is being done about it.
Termination from the Miss America organization brings with it that their state license to hold competitions has been terminated. They must also turn over any bank accounts and scholarship money tied to the organization, and probably a few other things those outside the pageant world don’t really know about
Also, as part of the termination, the leadership of their state’s organization are terminated and must be replaced. The national organization has kept quiet about how the state representatives are selected. How things go for those four states, let alone any of the other ones that face future terminations, is becoming a bigger mystery after this move.
Carlson, an author and former Fox News commentator, won Miss America in 1989. She became Chairman of the Board of Directors when many former members of the pageant’s top brass were exchanging sexist and derogatory emails about the contestants. Former CEO Sam Haskell and a few other board members were fired for the emails and were replaced by Gretchen, Hopper, and others earlier this year.
Beauty pageants themselves are not in a good place in modern times as the audience for such events dwindles. Pageants no longer garner the television ratings they once did. With more choices in media, pageants are having a harder time keeping their audiences glued to the TV that they once did. There is also a growing change in attitude about pageants as those that find these events sexist grows. Miss America eliminated the Swimsuit competition this year and made a statement that the competition would no longer be judging just on looks anymore.
With these events, some wonder if they will be judging anyone at all.