Gretchen Carlson elected as Miss America chair after sexist email scandal
TV journalist and best-selling author Gretchen Carlson attends SiriusXM's 'Leading Ladies With Gretchen Carlson' hosted by SiriusXM host Randi Zuckerberg at the SiriusXM studios on December 12, 2017 in New York.Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images for SiriusXM
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In a statement, the Miss America Organization said that Carlson, who won the pageant in 1989, would take over the role immediately.
“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said, according to the statement. “In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”
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Former Miss America CEO Sam Haskell, COO Josh Randle and Chairman Lynn Weidner resigned last month after HuffPost reported that Haskell and other leaders at the organization spoke derisively about previous Miss America contestants.
Citing purportedly leaked emails from 2014 and 2015, the news site reported that Haskell and other leaders described the sex life and looks of a pageant winner, joked about the death of a former contestant and used an offensive term for a female body part.