Former Fox News Anchor Gretchen Carlson Named Chair of Miss America Organization
Former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson has been named the new boss of the embattled Miss America Organization.
The news comes weeks after CEO Sam Haskell and three other pageant executives stepped down following the release of embarrassing fat- and slut-shaming emails.
Carlson, who was crowned Miss America in 1989, is one of the nation's best-known crusaders against workplace sexual harassment and won a $20 million settlement from Fox News in 2016.
"Honored to move this iconic program forward,” she tweeted after the announcement was made by The Miss America Organization on New Year’s Day.
Carlson's new position was effective immediately.
“Everyone has been stunned by the events of the last several days, and this has not been easy for anyone who loves this program,” Carlson said in a lengthier statement obtained by People.
“In the end, we all want a strong, relevant Miss America and we appreciate the existing board taking the steps necessary to quickly begin stabilizing the organization for the future.”
In a 2016 interview with Inside Edition's Deborah Norville, she said she was fat-shamed by a judge at the 1989 Miss America pageant. While Norville was a judge during that pageant, she was not the one who made disparaging remarks about Carlson.
"I had another judge — not you — who wrote a book about me the very next year and called me ‘Miss Piggy.’ I weighed 108 pounds at 5-foot-3. I was tiny and still faced that kind of ridicule,” she said.
Miss America 2013 Mallory Hagan, who was called "huge,” "gross" and "a blimp" by pageant execs, spoke to Inside Edition about the situation.
"I think what we will see with Gretchen is that she is fierce," she said. "There will be a zero-tolerance policy for this type of behavior moving forward."