Following significant backlash over leaked emails in which he insulted several Miss America contestants, Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell has resigned. In addition to Haskell, Miss America’s president and COO Josh Randle and Board chair Lynn Weidner will also be leaving the company.
“This afternoon, the Board of Directors of the Miss America Organization accepted the resignation of Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Haskell, effective immediately,” the organization’s new interim chairman, Dan Meyers, said in a statement first reported by the Huffington Post.
“The Board of Directors also accepted the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner. At the Board’s request, Ms. Weidner has agreed to remain on the Board for up to ninety days to facilitate a smooth transition for the MAO to new leadership.”
The board had initially opted for a suspension of Haskell in a statement posted to Twitter Friday evening,
Statement from the Miss America Organization Board of Directors: pic.twitter.com/sd91CwJGhc
— Miss America Org (@MissAmericaOrg) December 23, 2017
On Thursday, The Huffington Post published a story that included several emails written by Haskell, in which he disparaged the character and insulted the appearance of several Miss America contestants. Among them was 2013 winner Mallory Hagan, who was mocked by Haskell over her weight and purported sex life. Haskell also called former participants “c–ts” in another email.
The story caused significant outrage among former Miss America winners. Dick Clark Productions said it had ended its partnership with Miss America when the organization over the matter.
“We were appalled by their unacceptable content and insisted, in the strongest possible terms, that the Miss America Organization (MAO) board of directors conduct a comprehensive investigation and take appropriate action to address the situation,” Dick Clark Productions said in a statement Friday. “Shortly thereafter, we resigned our board positions and notified MAO that we were terminating our relationship with them.”