Miss America now represents only 46 out of the 50 United States. Go ahead and take a minute to clutch your pearls while humming “America the Beautiful.”
The Miss America Organization is reportedly in the middle of a vengeful purge, revoking the licenses of four state groups and threatening 15 others with probation for doing the most American thing possible—launching a revolution against tyrannical rulers.
The states are reportedly “revolting” against the leadership of the Miss America Organization, currently headed by former Fox News host (and former Miss America) Gretchen Carlson. According to the Associated Press, state officials are balking at a lack of transparency and communication from the national organization’s leadership. Amid calls for Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper to step down, the Miss America Organization is cracking down on dissent, the AP says.
The states whose licenses were revoked include Georgia, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania, as well as a fourth state that has not yet been named, according to the AP. The four states will no longer be affiliated with the Miss America Organization and have to turn over their bank accounts with the organization’s scholarship money ASAP. Once they find new leadership, they can request an appeal hearing from Miss America’s executive committee.
A GoFundMe account called the Miss America Organization Leadership Change Fund was set up to help states defend themselves against these charges. It has raised over $22,000 so far.
The apparent bullying tactic should come as no surprise to anyone who read former Miss America Cara Mund’s open letter in which she claimed Carlson bullied her—an assertion backed up by Miss America winners Suzette Charles and Heather Whitestone. They called for Carlson’s resignation, but stopped short of demanding that she turn in her crown and sash, too.