Miss America CEO suspended over emails insulting former contestants

The CEO of the Miss America Organization was suspended Friday over derogatory comments he made about former contestants.

Sam Haskell was suspended by the organization’s board of directors, according to a statement reported by BuzzFeed.

Haskell came under fire after The Huffington Post on Thursday published a series of leaked emails between Haskell and other pageant officials in which they made vulgar and disparaging remarks about contestants.

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In a statement to BuzzFeed, Haskell pushed back on the reports, saying the leaked emails were “conveniently edited,” and that the report was “dishonest, deceptive, and despicable."

He claimed that he wrote the emails while “under stress from a full year of attacks by two Miss Americas."

"This was not the CEO of an organization laughing at inappropriate jokes and speaking about a former Miss America in email conversations," Haskell said. "This was a father whose family was being attacked, and a man whose character was being assassinated daily, which impaired my judgement when responding to the inappropriate emails sent to me about them. For that, I deeply apologize."

Dozens of former Miss America contestants, including journalist Gretchen Carlson, called on Haskell and other board members to step down after the emails were published.

The organization said Thursday that it “considers the matter closed” because Haskell allegedly apologized for the comments, but now says it will investigate the “inappropriate communications” and how they were leaked, according to BuzzFeed.