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Sam Haskell

The Miss America pageant’s CEO reportedly mocked past winners over their looks


The Miss America Organization’s (MAO) CEO repeatedly mocked some of the beauty pageant’s past winners over their looks, intelligence and sex lives, according to The Huffington Post.

The Post on Thursday reported that Sam Haskell frequently maligned former victors, sometimes crudely, in email exchanges with other people involved in the pageant.

The news outlet reviewed approximately three years of emails provided by two sources showing Haskell’s past remarks about women who participated in MAO events.

Haskell in late August 2014, for example, emailed the then-lead writer for the pageant’s telecast about how they should refer to the event’s former winners.

“I’ve already changed ‘Forevers’ to ‘C—ts’,” Lewis Friedman wrote, using the former term for the champions. “Does that work for you?”

Haskell called Friedman’s comment “perfect” and then wrote “bahahaha,” seemingly finding the message humorous.

Friedman during an email chain at the same time, meanwhile, predicted the pageant’s 2013 winner is “preparing for a new career…as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.”

Haskell later replied “it appears we are the only ones” when Friedman asked whether they and two others had “f----d” Mallory Hagan.

The CEO in a January 2015 exchanged called Hagan “huge” and “gross” while commenting on a picture seemingly showing her recent weight gain.

MAO on late Thursday said in a statement that Haskell had apologized to its board of directors for his past comments.


“[They] contain inappropriate language that is unbecoming at best and is not, in any way, indicative of the character or integrity of MAO or its representatives,” it said of Haskell, who earns $500,000 annually.

“The Board of Directors took the allegations very seriously, investigated them, and considers the matter closed.”

Haskell’s leaked emails stand in stark contract to the warm, supportive public statements he has made about the pageant’s past winners.

The messages have also cost MAO its longtime television production partner, and have raised questions about its nationally televised broadcast’s future.

The broadcast typically emanates from Atlantic City’s Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year.

“We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation,” Dick Clark Productions said in a statement late Thursday.

“Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.”

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