Laura Wagner. Vanessa Williams became the first black Miss America winner in , but she was forced to resign 10 months later after Penthouse magazine published nude photos of her. Williams, who was 21 at the time, said she never consented to the publication of the photos. On Sunday night, the Miss America pageant's chief executive, Sam Haskell, offered an on-stage apology to Williams after she performed a song on stage. He said:. I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.
Donald Trump boasted about meeting semi-naked teenagers in beauty pageants
Miss America Pageant Photos and Premium High Res Pictures - Getty Images
The Miss America pageant is approaching its th birthday, and the competition is showing its age in more ways than one. While the organization paints itself as a platform for female empowerment, many have criticized it as a product of a bygone era. For something that appears so outwardly wholesome, it may initially seem weird that the pageant has attracted so much protest—until you consider all the complaints about what goes on behind-the-scenes. The Miss America Organization faced one of its biggest crises yet in late The revelation of hateful emails and alleged smear campaigns against former contestants from the company's highest-ranking members is making the entire pageant seem slimy and perhaps untenable in the empowering MeToo era. This is a major moment for the competition, but it's not the pageant's first controversy.
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But while the attention is deserved, I find the intentions questionable. Why are pageants around the world suddenly so inclusive? Get the news you need to start your day. I was just 11 when Vanessa Williams stunned the world and became the first black Miss America in
Organizers wanted to make it clear the 99th Miss America competition isn't your grandmother's beauty pageant, and their winner did just that on Thursday. Virginia biochemist Camille Schrier, 24, won the crown just minutes after wowing the crowd with science. Dressed in a lab coat, she did a colorful demonstration of the catalytic decomposition of hydrogen peroxide.