- Georgia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and a fourth unidentified state have received notices that their Miss American licenses have been revoked.
- Once the state’s licence is terminated, it can no longer claim affiliation to the Miss America Organisation and must hand over bank accounts containing scholarship money.
- News of the terminations comes as Miss Arizona 2015 Madi Esteves and two other past contestants said they were bullied, belittled and forced to lie by pageant organisers.
The Miss America Organisation terminated the licenses of four states and threatened 15 others with probation after dozens of former contestants revolted against the national leadership of the pageant.
Georgia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and a fourth unidentified state have received notices that their state licenses to hold Miss America pageants are being revoked, the Associated Press reported.
The three were inspired to come forward after Miss American 2018, Cara Mund, accused the national organisation of bullying just days before her successor was crowned last month.
“(The Miss Arizona organisers) didn’t want to hear what I wanted to do. They didn’t allow me to be myself. … It was: ‘You do as we say,'” Esteves, 24, told The Arizona Republic. “I got a glimpse of what it feels like to be silenced and feel like you don’t have a voice.”
Two executives in the Miss Arizona organisation disputed Esteves’s claims.
States whose licenses have been terminated can request appeal hearings from Miss America’s executive committee or replace their current leaders.
Once the state’s licence is terminated, it can no longer claim affiliation to the Miss America Organisation and must hand over bank accounts containing scholarship money to the national organisation.
This year’s pageant took place last month, after 46 of the 51 organisations, along with 23 former contestants, called for CEO Regina Hopper and chairwoman and former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson to resign, claiming the two were perpetrators of bullying and manipulation.
Last December, Miss America Organisation CEO Sam Haskell stepped down after leaked emails revealed past contestants and winners had been body shamed.
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