The plot of the Miss America bullying panel began to thicken this morning on Megyn Kelly Today when former Miss America winners Suzette Charles (Miss America 1984) and Heather Whitestone (Miss America 1995) came forward to confirm Cara Mund’s claims that Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America herself, bullied her and others.
The two were “shocked and appalled” by Mund’s open letter from last week claiming that she was bullied and put “on a shelf” by the organization since Carlson became the chair of the board of directors. But they weren’t surprised: Charles said “Gretchen has been bullying for a long time” which has resulted in many resignations from their office in Atlantic City.
Charles said that Carlson has taken “no responsibility for the way she has treated” Mund.
On Sunday, Carlson responded to Mund’s bullying claims saying that she had never bullied her and pointed out that “actions have consequences.” She went on to say that the organization has lost scholarships because of the allegations in Mund’s letter.
“How can you be a chairman of an organization and blame your employees for discrepancies in a business arrangement?” asked Charles. She said that it’s their job to raise money for the scholarship. “She’s putting that responsibility to our Miss America?”
When Kelly asked the pair if Carlson and Miss America CEO Regina Hopper should resign, they answered swiftly, “Absolutely.”
In Mund’s open letter, she said changes began when Carlson and Hopper took leadership positions at the beginning of this year following a scandal in which sexually derogatory emails of former board members surfaced.
Carlson, the former Fox News anchor, became an outspoken voice for sexual harassment victims when her lawsuit against her former employer exposed the rampant, longtime misconduct of former chairman Roger Ailes.
When it was announced that the beauty pageant would be getting rid of the swimsuit competition, it was an unpopular decision within the pageant community. Mund made her opinion clear in an interview with The Press of Atlantic City news site — which also posted her letter.
Watch the full interview above.