‘Not over yet’

Gretchen Carlson named Miss America chairwoman after organization rocked by harassment scandal

Gretchen Carlson (Paul Morigi/Getty Images for Vital Voices Global Partnership)

Former Miss America Gretchen Carlson has been named chairwoman of the pageant’s board of directors, marking a step forward for the organization as it attempts to move on from the harassment scandal that led to the resignation of three of its top executives last month. Carlson, a former Fox News anchor, has been actively working to combat workplace sexual harassment since she famously helped oust Fox New CEO Roger Ailes by recording him appearing to demand sex in return for her continued employment.

On December 21, HuffPost published emails written by former Miss America chief executive Sam Haskell in which he made misogynistic remarks about former pageant winner Mallory Hagan and others. In the email chain, other organization leaders were also seen chiming in with their own shaming comments about former pageant winners. A day later, Carlson and 49 other pageant winners called for the resignation of those involved in the email chain, leading to the subsequent resignation of Haskell, president Josh Randle, chairwoman Lynn Weidner and several other board members.

“The woman of Miss America are determined to take back our program,” declared Carlson and 1998 Miss America winner Kate Shindle in wake of the resignations. “This is not over yet.”

Since then, Miss America has added three former pageant winners, including Shindle, to its board. After the news of Carlson’s appointment as chairwoman, she posted a note on Twitter saying that she is “honored to move this iconic program forward with so many amazing volunteers.”

“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said. “In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”

Below, watch Carlson’s appearance onstage last year at the Women in the World New York Summit, where she discussed her role in bringing down Ailes at Fox News and also talked about strategies women can use after they face sexual harassment in the workplace. Highlights and the full video appearance are below. And mark your calendar — the 2018 New York Summit is coming up. It’s slated to take place April 12-14. Click here for more info.

Read the full story at The New York Times.

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EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is independent of and separate from any views of The New York Times.