Miss Massachusetts Gives up Title After Pageant Mocks #MeToo Movement

Jessica Napoli
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Maude Gorman

A beauty queen from Massachusetts has given up her crown after the pageant she won made an inappropriate joke about the #MeToo movement.

Maude Gorman, who was named Miss Plymouth County 2018 in the Miss Massachusetts competition, announced on social media last week she was returning her crown after a skit in which someone playing God was asked by the host why the pageant removed the swimsuit competition section. "God" then held up a sign that read #MeToo.

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The producer is known for his controversial show topics.

Gorman, who is also a sexual assault survivor, said, "I refuse to stand idly by and simply 'let this go.' Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement. I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation."

Today, I officially resigned from the title of Miss Plymouth County 2018. While I’m grateful for the opportunities that @missamerica creates for young women, I am also internally conflicted; as the #metoo movement was mocked on stage during the final competition of Miss Massachusetts. As both a survivor, and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence on a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply “let this go”. Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement. I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING. #metoo #missplymouthcounty #nomore #rainn #surviveandthrive

A post shared by Maude Gorman 🇺🇸 (@maudernliving) on

She also told NBC Boston, "Sometimes you have to make some sacrifices. To be able to represent my home was something that meant a lot to me. So to walk away from that, while I do have my dignity in place and while I know that I didn’t have to compromise my personal beliefs and my morals, it is still hard."

Since Gorman's protest, The Miss Massachusetts Miss America Organization offered an apology on Facebook, saying the skit was not part of the original show's script or approved by the board.

Axing the swimsuit competition from the Miss America beauty pageant was a decision lead by new chair Gretchen Carlson. "This board unanimously decided we needed to move this program forward," she told Good Morning America.

"We believe that physical appearance and beauty and being fit — that is empowering. We’re just not going to judge women on that."

The swimsuit section had been part of the pageant since 1921.

Now, people are calling for Carlson to resign. The Miss Georgia Organization supposedly has a protest signed by 22 state pageant directors for her removal.

The organization states, "As dedicated members of our state and local communities who lend our reputations, financial support and voluntary efforts to facilitate MAO's long and powerful mission of empowering women to stand up and speak out, we find ourselves needing to use our own voices of leadership to express our profound disappointment regarding what, in our view, is the failed leadership of the entire MAO Board of Trustees."

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