Anna Sheffer
July 09, 2018 10:34 am

The #MeToo movement has served as a rallying cry for survivors and supporters across America since 2017, and it’s even started making waves in the pageantry world. In June, Miss America eliminated the swimsuit portion of the competition, saying they would no longer judge women on their appearances. But not everyone was happy with the decision, and after hosts at the Miss Massachusetts contest made a joke about the new Miss America rules as well as the #MeToo movement, one competitor withdrew her name from consideration.

The Boston Globe reported that, on July 3rd, Maude Gorman submitted a resignation letter in response to a skit performed during the contest’s June 30th finale. The 24-year-old also forfeited her position as the reigning Miss Plymouth County. Although she has been participating in pageants for years, Gorman told the Globe that she would no longer be competing.

Observer.com published the skit that sparked Gorman’s resignation. In it, the contest’s host spoke to someone playing God, lamenting about the end of the swimsuit competition.

"I'm trying to understand, God, why it happened," the female host asked.

“Me too, Amy,” “God” responded, holding up a sign with #MeToo written on it.[/quote]

Gorman, a rape survivor, was backstage as the sketch took place, and was appalled by what she heard.

"I instantly knew I had to do something," she told CNN. "It was going to eat away at me if I didn't...we were all shocked. We said, 'Oh my god. I cannot believe that just happened. Did that just really happen?'"

The Miss Massachusetts organization, part of the Miss America Organization, issued an apology on Facebook, writing that the skit had not been authorized by the board prior to the competition.

The Miss Massachusetts Board of Directors offers our sincere and heartfelt apology for those offended by Saturday…

Posted by Miss Massachusetts MAO on Tuesday, July 3, 2018

After Gorman learned that her story had made national headlines, she shared a list of ways she’s helped survivors of sexual assault on Instagram. And the former pageant star assured her followers that her advocacy will continue.

"I will continue to fearlessly defend survivors, and be the voice for those suffering in secrecy," she wrote in her post. "You are not alone #metoo." 

By quitting the Miss Massachusetts contest, Gorman is taking a stand for all survivors. We applaud her decision to stand up for the #MeToo movement, and we know that she will continue to do great things. And to all those who have experienced sexual harassment or assault, remember: you are not alone.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, you can contact the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673.

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