2018 might be the first year without a swimsuit competition at the Miss America pageant. We’ve got CEO Gretchen Carlson’s hints at big changes.
As the new Miss America chairwoman, former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson plans to bring some modern day changes to the stalwart pageant. That could include not judging women by their bodies by doing away with the seemingly outdated swimsuit competition. When asked if she planned to get rid of the controversial contest of women parading around in tiny bikinis being judgesdon their tight abs and firm behinds, she said the end may be near. On Jan. 5, she told Good Morning America‘s Amy Robach that “I have so many great ideas for this organization, and I will be talking about those with all the other board members and the eventual CEO of Miss America and staff of Miss America.” She added, “So what I would love to say about that is, please stay tuned, because I plan to make this organization 100% about empowering women. Changes are coming — potentially big changes.”
Gretchen, 51, is the first former Miss America to be in charge of the pageant and got the title after previous CEO Sam Haskell, 52, was forced to resign in Dec. of 2017 after leaked e-mails showed that he and other competition board members made misogynistic, crude and disparaging comments about contestants’ looks, brains and bodies. He called Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, 28, “huge and gross” and even slut shamed her. Now that Gretchen is in charge her “big changes” includes possibly changing eligibility status to include older contestants, divorcees (Miss America as it stands has to be an unmarried woman), and even gender identity.
“I’m open to looking at all of that,” Gretchen revealed. “Recently we had our first open lesbian contestant. Fantastic.” She added, “You know, the lesbian, transgender community has already reached out to me. I mean, I am open to speaking to every single person who wants to have a voice.”
Gretchen said she felt a “call of duty” to return to the pageant after Haskell and other board members’ disgusting e-mails were made public. She blazed the trail for the #metoo movement 18 months ago by suing then Fox News boss Roger Ailes, 77, for sexual harassment and won a $20 million settlement. “I find that incredibly empowering in this Me Too movement, that some of the women who were allegedly maligned in those appalling emails, are now running the place,” Gretchen said of the new Miss American organization. We can’t wait to see what changes she makes for the competition to showcase women’s empowerment instead of their bikini bodies!
FULL INTERVIEW: @GretchenCarlson one-on-one with @arobach in her first interview after being named the first ever female Chairwoman of @MissAmericaOrg; She says big changes are on the way. pic.twitter.com/HlNkhrh0sh
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 5, 2018
HollywoodLifers, do you think the Miss America swimsuit competition is outdated in these times?