19 Former Miss Americas Unite to Call For Gretchen Carlson's Resignation
Carlson is accused of bullying.
There is an open rebellion at Miss America, as 19 former pageant winners are calling on embattled Chairwoman Gretchen Carlson to resign.
Caressa Cameron-Jackson, who was Miss America 2010, told Inside Edition that when “we voted, myself included, to put Gretchen in this position, we were hoping it was with a fresh set of eyes."
"It's heartbreaking now to see that’s not the direction things have gone," she said.
“We all chose [Carlson] to take over leadership position," added Suzette Charles, Miss America 1984. “We are very much disappointed that as a sister she sorta forgot where she came from."
The revolt comes as the current Miss America, Cara Mund, made public a bombshell letter claiming Carlson and Miss America CEO Regina Hopper "silenced ... reduced, marginalized ... and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America ... on a daily basis."
Mund has only three weeks left to her reign, but she's going out fighting, claiming she was banned from doing TV interviews because Carlson wanted all the attention, she said.
"They told me I’m not important enough to do big interviews and that the major press is 'obviously' reserved for Gretchen,” she claimed.
“Even now, the reason I am doing this interview and some of my other former Miss Americas are doing interviews is because Cara is not allowed to do interviews right now,” Cameron-Jackson said.
Charles added that Mund is a “brilliant young lady who didn’t have one second of a chance to show who she is.”
Miss Washington 2017 Nicole Renard, who competed against Mund for the Miss America title, said, "As Miss America you are the face of the organization, you are the national spokesperson and ambassador for young women across the country and she should be the one speaking, she should be the one talking to the press."
Cameron-Jackson said Carlson lied about why the swimsuits had to go.
“We were notified by Gretchen that we would lose potential sponsors and our on-air TV partner that would telecast the pageant for us should we go forward with the swimsuit competition,” she said.
But ABC, which airs the show, disputed that.
"ABC had nothing to do with the decision to eliminate the swimsuit portion of the competition,” ABC said in a statement to Inside Edition.
Carlson is denying she mistreated the reigning Miss America.
"I was surprised and saddened by the letter from our reigning Miss America," she tweeted. "I have never bullied or silenced you. Actions have consequences.”
She added that the $75,000 in scholarships is “no longer on the table as a direct result of the explosive allegations in your letter."
This year's Miss America pageant will be held Sept. 9 in Atlantic City.
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