Transcript for Miss America pageant CEO suspended amid leaked emails
The beauty pageant rocked by more ugly story. That's after reports of offensive e-mails written by Sam Haskell and Marci Gonzalez has more. Reporter: Good morning. The pageant's board of directors has now suspended Haskell saying they are conducting an in-depth investigation into alleged inappropriate communications. Making the announcement less than 24 hours after those insulting alleged messages went public. ??? There she is miss America quote. Reporter: The miss America pageant famous for its dazzling gown, swimwe are and crowning moments. New York. Now plagued by scandal after e-mails from the organization's CEO Sam Haskell were leaked to the Huffington post. Hi, I'm Sam Haskell and we're in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Reporter: Executive chairman is suspended following a vote by the board of directors for the pageant, a member of the production staff is also fired. The e-mails sent back in 2014 include alleged sexist, crude and demeaning comments prompting former pageant winners to now share what's described as a toxic working environment. Miss Virginia. Reporter: After giving up my crown I didn't go back for five years just because I was so hurt by the way I was treated. Reporter: Caressa says after her reign ended that toxicity still carried on. I was ostracized and blackballed and they told other state organizations not to hire me as the emcee for their pageant because I was a bad person. Reporter: Another former miss America, palry Hagan is the subject of multiple exchanges in the leaked e-mails which included alleged derogatory comments about her love life and weight. Having someone bully you, demean you, degrade you in any way is not okay. No matter what. Reporter: Haskell tells ABC news the e-mails are conveniently edited and the events are not as described. Saying he was under stress from a full year of attacks by two miss Americas and made a mistake of words adds that he will comply with his suspension pending the investigation. This comes after a petition now signed by more than 50 former miss Americas calling the behavior by Haskell and three other board members of the organization despicable asking for their immediate resignation. One of the board members has since resigned. And more fallout. Dick Clark productions cut its ties with the miss America organization over the e-mails calling them appalling. The pageant's board in its statement says as they investigate, they want to reaffirm their commitment to the education and empower many of young women. Dan, Mary, back to you. A lot more to learn. Thank you very much.
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