Miss America Cara Mund is accusing the Miss America Organization of bullying and silencing her. The irony of the accusation hasn’t escaped her or anyone else.
In the past year, the Miss America Organization has scrambled to give its image a facelift after a series of scandals in which its leaders were ousted for slut-and-fat-shaming contestants. The Organization put Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America herself, in place to help lead the organization forward, and swimsuit competitions were banned.
But the same issues are still in play, according to Mund.
In a five-page letter, Mund, Miss America 2018, specifically called out calls out Miss America CEO Regina Hopper and chair Gretchen Carlson for having "silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis."
Mund vented her frustrations at being deemed "not important enough" for big interviews, which were reserved Carlson. She was also told that she was to blame for sponsors dropping the pageant.
Mund gave examples of behavior that many observers likened to that of the notorious Mean Girls film, also depicting nasty Gretchen and Regina characters, claiming they knowingly mispronounced her name and lied about her.
Mund wrote: "Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future. I truly felt more valued, respected, and viewed as a real collaborator within my first three months rather than these last eight months. The differences in treatment are stark."
MISS AMERICA ORGANIZATION RESPONDS
In a statement, the organization said: "It is disappointing that she chose to air her grievances publicly not privately. Her letter contains mischaracterizations and many unfounded accusations. We are reaching out to her privately to address her concerns. The Miss America Organization supports Cara."