What's the future of the Miss America pageant after email scandal?

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What is the future of the Miss America pageant after email scandal? (KTRK)

Top leaders are resigning after derogatory emails taking aim at Miss America pageant contestants surfaced and the future of the pageant is up in the air.

The scandal began when the Huffington Post published leaked emails from CEO Sam Haskell exposing crude and demeaning comments about contestants.

The emails included one that used a vulgar term for female genitalia to refer to past Miss America winners, one that wished that a particular former Miss America had died and others that speculated about how many sex partners 2013 winner Mallory Hagan has had.
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One-on-one with former Miss America



At least one former winner didn't find the scandal shocking. Caressa Cameron said she found the Miss America organization to be a toxic working environment.

"After giving up my crown, I didn't go back to the Miss America pageant for five years just because I was so hurt by the way I was treated," Cameron said.

The fallout for the 96-year-old pageant has been fast and furious.

Television producing partner Dick Clark Productions cut ties with Miss America, calling the emails "appalling," and dozens of winners signed a petition calling on the group's leadership to step down.
That demand has now been granted.

Forced out are CEO Sam Haskell, board chairman Lynn Weidner and COO Josh Randle. He told ABC that the emails pre-date his employment with the organization, but said that it does not reflect his values or the values he worked to promote at the Miss America organization.

Haskell told ABC that the emails are "conveniently edited" and the events "are not as described."

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