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Former Miss America Mallory Hagan wants scandal to spur pageant’s ‘reinvention’

Executive Chairman and CEO Sam Haskell, President and COO Josh Randle and Chairman Lynn Weidner have all stepped down after internal emails were published showing Miss America contestants described with vulgar and offensive language. USA TODAY

The subjects of emails that rocked the Miss America Organization continue to speak out.

On Dec. 21, HuffPost published correspondence allegedly sent between former Miss America Organization CEO Sam Haskell and various board members in which crowned winners were insulted for their weight and slut-shamed.

The latest updates:

Mallory Hagan says she hopes ‘we’re starting a larger conversation’

Speaking with Paula Faris on Tuesday’s Good Morning America from Alabama, 2013’s Miss America said she hoped the scandal spurred a rebirth for the pageant.

“I hope it signals the reinvention and I hope that we’re starting a larger conversation here,” the 29-year-old told Faris.

Hagan said that she was “grateful” for former president and chief operating officer Josh Randle’s apology, but wanted to shift the spotlight from mea culpas to the organization’s approaching days.

“What we really want to focus on is how we’re gonna move forward in the future,” she said.

Envisioning the days ahead, Hagan said she would like for changes to be implemented .

“I think there’s a lot of conversation that’s been happening behind the scenes, for many years from all of us formers about things that we would like to see change and unfortunately, the leadership that was in place was simply not open to it,” she said. “Now we have an open door for former Miss Americas for long-term volunteers, for former state titleholders to come together and really put together some ideas in order to help, not just the pageant that you see on the telecast, but the day-to-day lives of these state titleholders.”

Hagan was mentioned in several emails , including in an exchange between Haskell and Miss America telecast lead writer Lewis Friedman.

“Mallory’s preparing for her new career … as a blimp in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade,” Friedman wrote in an email. He concluded the correspondence by asking: “Are we four the only ones not to have (slept with) Mallory?”

Haskell responded with “It appears we are the only ones!”

Andrea Mandell contributed to this report.

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