Beauty pageant contestant Maude Gorman resigned from her Miss Plymouth County 2018 title last month during the last competition of the Miss Massachusetts pageant – a lead-in to the Miss America Pageant – after a skit on stage mocked the #metoo movement.
Gorman graciously stepped down in a post on Instagram that said, “While I’m grateful for the opportunities that @missamerica creates for young women, I am also internally conflicted … As both a survivor and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence as a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply ‘let this go.’”
Gorman says she was gang raped by three men when she was 13. She kept the secret for years, struggling with PTSD and in school. When she was 16, she finally told her mother who got her the help she needed. Since then, Gorman graduated with honors, became an ultra runner, and now promotes healthy and active living. She plans to speak out about violence against women.
The comedy sketch that upset Gorman involved a woman kneeling and talking about how Miss America has done away with the swimsuit portion of the competition. “It’s upsetting and I’m trying to understand, God, why it happened,” she says to a man in robes who appears to be portraying God.
The man holds up a #MeToo sign and says, “Me too, Amy.” The crowd cheers as the skit continues.
Gorman was backstage and didn’t see the skit. But she could hear it, and it shocked her. “I instantly knew I had to do something. It was going to eat away at me if I didn’t… we were all shocked. We said, ‘Oh my god. I cannot believe that just happened. Did that just really happen?’” she told CNN.
The Miss Massachusetts organization posted a response on Facebook apologizing and saying the skit was not in the script and thus was not authorized by the pageant’s Board of Directors. “We will review all content with future emcees and other participants prior to our show to be sure offensive or potentially offensive content is not allowed.”
As for Gorman, she says she’s done with pageants. “I’m happy with leaving the pageant world behind me.”