Former Miss America Mallory Hagan has responded to the sexist comments made about her in leaked emails
On December 21st, an article in The Huffington Post revealed that Miss America CEO Sam Haskell had slut-shamed and fat-shamed former pageant contestants in email exchanges. And early on December 22nd, Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan responded to Haskell’s emails.
Hagan was the subject of much contempt in the leaked messages. Haskell slut-shamed and fat-shamed the former pageant winner, calling her “huge” and gross” and saying that he had “lost count” of her sexual partners. He also claimed that she had made personal attacks against him. But there is no evidence that Hagan ever slandered Haskell, and she maintains that Haskell sabotaged her dream to become a pageant coach.
In an interview with Today on December 22nd, Hagan said she wasn’t surprised by the content of Haskell’s emails and that she was glad Haskell’s comments had come to to light.
"When I first read the emails in the article, I wasn't shocked, but I was validated," she said. "For the longest time, I've tried to explain to people that this is happening or these things are being said. And (now I) have the ability to look on paper and say, 'See? I told you.'"
Hagan also posted a video message on her Twitter account early on December 22nd. In her message, she again said that she felt validated by the release of the emails. But she also defended the Miss America pageant overall, saying that the women who worked on the pageant had always been supportive.
"In no way would I ever want to see this program or organization go away," she said. "So my hope is that this story that broke will bring light to the type of behavior that's been in leadership of the Miss America Organization and really help us put in place some people who care and who embody the mission of Miss America."
Hagan urged viewers to stand up for themselves and others. On Instagram, she posted an inspirational quote that read “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.”
Haskell’s comments about Hagan are reprehensible, and we’re glad to see that his poor conduct has been exposed. We applaud Hagan for speaking out against her mistreatment despite the difficulties, and we hope she finds the closure she deserves.