Forty-nine former Miss Americas call for pageant bosses to resign over leaked emails ridiculing past winners

Miss America pageant bosses ridiculed the appearance, intelligence and sex lives of winners, making vulgar comments and even saying they wished one of them had died, according to leaked emails.

The emails included some from Sam Haskell, the $500,000 chief executive of the nearly 100-year-old pageant, who mocked Mallory Hagan, the 2013 Miss America, as "fat and gross".

In one message a writer for the pageant said Miss Hagan was "preparing for her new career as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade," adding: "P.S. Are we four the only ones not to have (slept with) Mallory?"

Mr Haskell replied: "It appears we are the only ones!"

In another of the emails, which were leaked to the Huffington Post, a former writer for the pageant commented on the death of a former Miss America, suggesting they wished it had been 1998 winner Kate Shindle instead. Mr Haskell indicated the email made him laugh.

Mallory Hagan being crowned Miss America in 2013Credit:

Mr Haskell also wrote of wanting to drive the 1989 Miss America Gretchen Carlson "insane," and called her a "snake".

In the wake of the email leak 49 former Miss Americas, including BeBe Shopp Waring, 87, who was crowned in 1948, signed an open letter calling on the leadership of the pageant to resign.

The former Miss Americas said they were "deeply disturbed and saddened to learn of the sickening and egregious words used by Miss America leadership in reference both to our group and to specific members of our sisterhood".

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They added: "We stand firmly against harassment, bullying and shaming, especially of women, through the use of derogatory terms meant to belittle and demean."

Sam Haskell, left, CEO of Miss America OrganizationCredit:

Miss Hagan, the 2013 winner, said: "Having somebody bully you, demean you, degrade you in any way is not OK.

"For the longest time I’ve tried to explain to people around me that this is happening."

Miss Shindle said the emails had made her feel "physically ill".

Dick Clark Productions, which produces the annual television broadcast of the pageant in Atlantic City, said it was "appalled" and severed ties with the Miss America Organization, raising questions about its future.

Gretchen Carlson, Miss America, who became a Fox News hostCredit:

The Miss America Organization said Mr Haskell had apologised, and that the group is revising its policies on communications, adding it considers the matter closed.

It said: "Although strictly intended for private communication these illegally procured emails contain inappropriate language that is unbecoming at best."

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