The Miss America Organization is retaliating against several defiant state officials, following a summer revolt against the pageant and its chairman, former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson.
The organization is terminating the licenses of four states and potentially putting up to another 15 on probation, the Associated Press reported on Monday. States that have been terminated need to replace their current leadership and can ask for an appeal hearing from a Miss America committee.
Miss America Organization didn’t confirm to the AP which states in particular were punished, saying, “The process regarding Miss America state licensees is confidential.” But a lawyer for Georgia and West Virginia told the AP their licenses are being terminated, along with a Pennsylvania official telling the AP its state had been booted as well.
The rebellious states weren’t pushing back against the pageant dropping its swimsuit competition, but rather the leadership of Carlson, a 1989 Miss America champion, and CEO Regina Hopper since taking over at the beginning of 2018.
After a letter from outgoing Cara Mund, the outgoing Miss America, said she’d been bullied by Miss America leadership, 46 of the 51 state organizations (the District of Columbia is in the competition) called for Carlson and Hopper to resign. Twenty-three former pageant winners also lobbied for their exit. A Miss America investigation found no evidence to support Mund’s claim — although investigators failed to interview Mund for its report.