Miss America Has Harsh Words for Gretchen Carlson

Cara Mund claims Carlson, CEO Regina Hopper silenced and bullied her
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2018 5:00 AM CDT
Miss America Has Harsh Words for Gretchen Carlson
In this Sept. 10, 2017, file photo, Miss North Dakota Cara Mund reacts after being named Miss America during the Miss America 2018 pageant in Atlantic City, NJ.   (AP Photo/Noah K. Murray, File)

Gretchen Carlson was installed as chair of the Miss America Organization's board of directors earlier this year in the wake of a scandal that forced out the organization's CEO and other executives after "unacceptable" emails were revealed about past winners. Now, drama of her own for Carlson and Miss America CEO Regina Hopper. They've been pilloried in a letter written by Miss America 2018 Cara Mund, who alleges she was bullied. USA Today obtained a copy of the five-page letter, which accuses the women of having "silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis." Some of her grievances revolve around interviews: She alleges the plum ones were handed to Carlson, as she was "not important enough" to do them, and that she was made to stick to three talking points, one of which related to Carlson's Stanford education.

She also claims she was told her poor social media skills caused certain sponsors to sever ties with the Miss America Organization, that she was given grief over her clothes ("During a photo shoot this year, Regina looked at the Karl Lagerfeld dress I was wearing and said 'Yuck. You should burn that. Don’t ever wear that again,'" she wrote), and that Hopper referred to her as "Kira." "The rhetoric about empowering women, and openness and transparency, is great; however, the reality is quite different. I am living that difference," wrote Mund, who says things were better in the first three months of her tenure before the leadership was shaken up. Carlson had this to say to People: "I want to be clear that as a proponent of women my entire life, I have never bullied Cara Mund. We have supported Cara for her entire year and we will continue to support her. It’s just disappointing that she chose to air her grievance publicly and not privately." (More Miss America stories.)

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