Miss America CEO and Mississippian Sam Haskell resigns

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The top leadership of the Miss America Organization, implicated in an email scandal that targeted past pageant winners for abuse based on their appearance, intellect and sex lives, resigned on Saturday, with the outgoing president apologizing to a victor whose weight he ridiculed.

CEO and Executive Chairman Sam Haskell, President and COO Josh Randle and Board of Directors Chairman Lynn Weidner all resigned after being implicated in an email scandal in which their emails showed inappropriate criticism of former winners and contestants' appearance, intelligence and sex lives. "Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable".

"We stand firmly against harassment, bullying and shaming - especially of women - through the use of derogatory terms meant to belittle and demean", the Huffington Post quoted the letter as saying.

In another exchange from August 2014, Haskell forwarded an email that said Hagan's hairdresser had been commenting on Hagan's sex life, as well as her recent weight gain to Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman and noted, "Not a single day passes that I am not told some terrible story about Mallory".

The organization announced the resignations a day after dozens of former Miss Americas, including Hagan, signed a petition calling on the group's leadership to step down because of the emails.

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"My hope is that this story that broke will bring light to the type of behaviour that's been in leadership of the Miss America Organisation and really help us put in place some people who care and who embody the mission of Miss America", Hagan said in a Twitter video.

Executive Chairman, Sam Haskell III speaks at The 2016 Official Miss America After-Party at on September 13, 2015 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. In another email, the disgraced CEO said he wished a particular Miss America had died, and others that speculated about how many sex partners another former Miss America has had. This was a father whose family was being attacked, and a man whose character was being assassinated daily, which impaired my judgment when responding to the inappropriate emails sent to me about them. For that, I deeply apologise.

In addition to Dick Clark Productions severing ties with the pageants, the Children's Miracle Network Hospitals is conducting an investigation to determine whether they will still accept funding from the nonprofit.

"For the longest time, I've tried to explain to people around me that this is happening or these things are being said", the victor of the 2013 pageant told NBC.

Haskell replied, "It appears we are the only ones!"

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