Gretchen Carlson To Serve As Board Chair Of Miss America Organization

Astrid Stawiarz  Getty Images
Gretchen Carlson will serve as chair of the Miss America Organization board of directors

Some of the comments were so offensive in nature that dozens of former contestants - including 1989 victor and former Fox News host Gretchen Carlson - banded together to call for the resignations of several at the top.

Carlson, who won Miss America in 1989, takes over the role immediately, the organization announced in a press release.

She will be joined on the board by a number of her fellow former Miss Americas: Laura Kaeppeler Fleiss (2012), Heather French Henry (2000) and Kate Shindle (1998).

The ex-beauty queen, 51, will fill the spot left vacant by former chairwoman Lynn Weidner, who resigned last month along with CEO and executive chairman Sam Haskell, among others.

"In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America", she said.

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"Most previously serving directors have resigned", the statement said.

The emails ridiculed the appearance and character of one pageant victor, joked about Shindle's death and suggested former Miss Americas could be described with a profane reference to a woman's genitals.

The reshuffling of Miss America comes less than two weeks after a bombshell HuffPost exposé about the organization.

Carlson claimed her career had been derailed by Fox News then-CEO Roger Ailes after she rejected his multiple advances.

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After filing her lawsuit against Ailes and leaving Fox News, Carlson remained an outspoken advocate for other women and repeatedly pushed back against former Fox News host Bill O'Reilly, who was sacked after $32 million sexual harassment settlement was reported by the New York Times on October 21.

Shindle was also the subject of a nasty Haskell email in which he joked that he wished she would die.

The emails already cost the pageant its television production partner and raised questions about the future of the nationally televised broadcast from Atlantic City's Boardwalk Hall the week after Labor Day each year.

"The only solution that will #SaveMissAmerica is resignation of all board members", she added.

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