The Miss Kansas Organization Executive Board, Miss Kansas 2017 Krystian Fish and Miss Kansas Outstanding Teen Board have all responded to the resignation of Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell for alleged vulgar e-mail comments made about former Miss America Contestants.
The Miss Kansas Executive Board and Miss Kansas 2017 Krystian Fish have both released statements concerning the resignation of Miss America Organization Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sam Haskell after allegations of him using vulgar language in e-mails to describe former Miss America contestants.
Pratt is the home of the Miss Kansas Pageant, a Miss America State Pageant.
Lisa Perez Miller, Miss Kansas Pageant co-executive director, had no comment on the matter other than to acknowledge receiving the press releases and that she would share any further statements.
The Board of Directors of the Miss America Organization accepted Haskell's resignation as well as the resignation of Chairman Lynn Weidner. At the Board's request, Weidner will remain on the Board for up to 90 days to facilitate a smooth transition to new MAO leadership, according to a Dec. 23 press release from Dan Meyers, Interim Chairman of the Board of the Miss America Organization.
The MAO Board also offered thanks to Haskell and Weidner for their positive work for the Organization.
"The Board thanks Lynn and Sam for many years of tireless work for, and significant financial support to, both the Miss America Organization and thousands of young women who received millions of dollars of educational scholarships from the Organization as a direct result of their efforts," Meyers said.
The MKO Executive Board offered the following statement Dec. 24 concerning the matter.
"The events of the past 48-hours relative to the actions of the Miss America Organization leadership have been disappointing and have challenged the integrity and relevance of the program. However, the actions of a few people do not define an entire organization, especially one with the tradition and hallmarks of Miss America.
"The Miss Kansas Organization stands strong in supporting the other 50 Miss America state organizations, the former Miss Americas and the state and local titleholders, contestants and volunteers throughout the country in reaffirming a commitment to the education and empowerment of young women. At this critical time, we must "tell our story" and communicate the positive attributes of the Miss America program; educational scholarships, community service and the empowerment of women through personal development. As MKO sponsors, volunteers, contestants, titleholders and friends, we thank you for your continued support," said the MKO Executive Board in their press release.
Miss Kansas 2017 Krystian Fish also responded to the events.
"Today, we taught women all over America just how valuable they are. We taught them that they deserve more, and that degrading women is not something the Miss America Organization stands for. We taught women that their voices can be heard, and will be heard. We taught women that they have the power to empower others and overcome trials with class," Fish said in a Dec. 23 press release.
Donna Bozarth, Chairman of the Board for Miss America's Outstanding Teen program, said she was uncertain how the events would impact their organization "but the MAOTeen Board of Directors are committed to safeguarding this organization," Bozarth said.
"A benchmark of this organization has always been respect, in word and deed. Without respect, it is impossible to build a program that honors accomplishments of the teens who put their trust in our leadership. We must respect everyone who participates in this organization and we must honor every person, male or female, who believes in the mission of MAOTeen, Inc. Without respect, this organization would not and cannot survive," Bozarth said.