Miss America Organization Board Votes to Suspend CEO After Report on Crass Emails

Just one day after an explosive report on disgusting comments made in emails by the CEO of the Miss America Organization, the board has voted to suspend him. Yashar Ali‘s HuffPost report detailed slut-shaming and fat-shaming in emails sent and received by Sam Haskell, including one in which he responded “Perfect…bahahaha” to an email referring to former pageant winners as “c*nts.” The report contains this tidbit about the response from the Miss America Organization:
HuffPost received a response from a Miss America Organization spokesman. He said [writer Lewis] Friedman had been let go from the organization after an investigation. “The Miss America Organization Board of Directors was notified about the concern of inappropriate language in email communications several months ago. Consequently, the organization’s Board of Directors took the allegations of inappropriate comments very seriously and formed an investigative committee,” he wrote. “As a result of the investigation, Board directed the organization terminate the relationship with most egregious author of inappropriate comments. In addition, the Board has started the process of instituting additional policies and procedures for communication.” “The Board has full confidence in the Miss America Organization leadership team,” he added.

Today one board member announced her resignation, and dozens of former Miss Americas––including Gretchen Carlson––called on Haskell to resign. Tonight the board has voted to suspend Haskell: Carlson tweeted this in response to the announcement: UPDATE –– 8:30 pm ET: Haskell has responded in a statement obtained by the AP:
Sam Haskell said he will abide by the suspension, even while decrying the Huffington Post story that publicized the emails as “unkind and untrue.” “My mistake is a mistake of words,” Haskell wrote in a statement issued Friday night, shortly after the board suspended him indefinitely while it investigates the situation. “Much of what was reported is dishonest, deceptive, and despicable. “The material is based on private emails that were stolen three years ago by ex-employees,” Haskell wrote. “The story is so unkind and untrue, and hurts me, my family, and the stewardship of this nonprofit. Those who know my heart know that this is not indicative of my character, nor is it indicative of my business acumen.”
[image via screengrab] — — Follow Josh Feldman on Twitter: @feldmaniac

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