Carlson, chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America organization, said “change is difficult” but the board “unanimously decided we needed to move this program forward,” Carlson told Robin Roberts on Monday’s edition of ABC’s Good Morning America.
Carlson and other leaders of the Miss America organization have come under intense criticism, with state level officials expressing a vote of “no confidence” in the board and some calling for Carlson’s ouster following the decision to downplay the judging of contestants on the basis of physical appearance, which resulted in the elimination of the swimsuit competition and an optional evening-gown competition. Some critics defended the swimsuit competition, saying to allowed contestants to demonstrate their physical fitness.
“We believe that physical appearance and beauty and being fit — that is empowering. We’re just not going to judge women on that,” Carlson said.
“We’re working through this in the best way we can,” Carlson added.
You can watch the entire interview below.