Former Miss America Mallory Hagan is hopeful that the email scandal surrounding the pageant “signals the reinvention” of the organization moving forward, she told Good Morning America.
When asked if the controversy might mark the pageant’s downfall or reinvention, Hagan said, “I hope it signals the reinvention … I hope that we’re starting a larger conversation.”
Tuesday’s interview follows ex-Miss America CEO Sam Haskell’s resignation after derogatory emails he sent and received about former contestants were made available to the public days ago, including one calling the Pageant contestants “c*nts.” Chairman Lynn Weidner and organization president Josh Randle have also stepped down.
The former Miss America said that it’s essential now to look forward, not backwards. Hagan, who was crowned the winner of the 2013 pageant, spoke to Good Morning America and said she had, in the past, heard some demeaning language used in reference to other former Miss Americas.
The focal point of that discussion is “about how we’re going to move forward in the future. This is an opportunity to see how women can come together, support each other, rise up, take over the things that they want to see happen,” she said.
Hagan called Brent Adams, the former pageant employee who spoke out about the emails, “the unsung hero.” Adding, “he stood up for me; he stood up for all these women.”
“I did see that Josh Randle said he apologizes for his behavior and, for that, I guess I’m grateful. But in the other statements that I saw, I’m not seeing really an apology there. But that’s not really the point here. At this point, those people are no longer affiliated with Miss America,” she noted.
Watch the clip above, via ABC.
[image via screengrab]
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