Just weeks before the 2019 Miss America pageant, more accusations are flying about disrespect shown to contestants. Last month, Maude Gorman, a contestant vying for Miss Massachusetts gave up her Miss Plymouth County crown after a skit performed during the pageant mocked the #metoo movement. Gorman is a survivor of sexual assault and just couldn’t sit idly by, she said.
The latest accusation comes from the 2018 Miss America, Cara Mund, who is accusing the pageant’s chairwoman and CEO of bullying her. The former Miss North Dakota said Miss America board chairwoman Gretchen Carlson and the pageant’s CEO Regina Hopper “systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis,” she said in a letter to former Miss Americas that was recently made public.
Mund says that Carlson and Hopper often criticized her clothes and banned her from wearing the color pink. During a photo shoot, Hopper “looked at the Karl Lagerfield dress I was wearing and said, ‘Yuck. You should burn that. Don’t ever wear that again.’”
The Miss America executives also allegedly told Mund she wasn’t important enough to do big interviews, and that major press was only interested in talking to Carlson.
The Miss America organization released a statement saying it was disappointed Mund aired her grievances so publicly. “We are reaching out to her to address her concerns,” the statement read.
“The rhetoric about empowering women, and openness and transparency, is great;” Mund said about the Miss America pageant. “However, the reality is quite different.”
New York Post