The behind-the-scenes drama at Miss America continues to resemble the too-ridiculous-to-be-true plot twists of a subpar basic cable original movie. In addition to the leaked slut-shaming emails, cat fights about weight gain, a CEO trying to force an employee to marry his daughter, it now seems there is a power struggle involving Gretchen Carlson.
Carlson, a former Miss America and one of the women behind Roger Ailes ouster at Fox News following sexual harassment allegations, took over as chair at Miss America after the scandals broke, determined to remake and modernize the institution.
She started by canceling the swimsuit competition (which enraged many, including several former pageant participants). Per Page Six, Carlson was also behind two former Miss Americas and two former state titleholders getting booted from the board just after months after joining.
While their exits were framed as voluntary, Page Six reports that Kate Shindle (president of the Actors’ Equity Association), Laura Kaeppler Fleiss (wife of Bachelor whiz Mike Fleiss), Jennifer Vaden Barth and Valerie Crooker Clemens posted messages in a closed Facebook group claiming they were essentially fired.