Insider reports that the Miss America Organization has revoked the licenses of four states and threatened 15 others after reports of abuse from the organizations were released by former contestants. Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Georgia, and an unidentified fourth state received notices this week that their licenses to host Miss America pageants were revoked, and that their bank accounts with the scholarship money must be turned over immediately. States whose licenses have been terminated can request appeal hearings from Miss America’s executive committee or replace their current leaders.
This news comes after three former contestants, including Miss Arizona 2015, Madi Esteves, revealed to the Arizona Republic that they were belittled, bullied, and force to lie by pageant organizers. Before that, Miss America 2018, Cara Mund, accused the organization of bullying, just days before she crowned her successor.
This is the latest in a series of scandals the organization faced in recent months. This year, 46 of the 51 organizations, along with 23 former contestants, called for CEO Regina Hopper and chairwoman and former Fox News Host Gretchen Carlson to resign, claiming the two were perpetrators of bullying and manipulation. Just this past December, CEO Sam Haskell stepped down after emails of the body shaming of former contestants and winners were made public.