Sounds like there’s a catfight dogfight brewing between Miss USA and Miss America.
The chairman of the board of the latter tells us that had embattled Miss USA 2009 runner-up Carrie Prejean been a contestant in his pageant, she would not have been “persecuted.”
On April 19, during NBC’s live broad- cast of the 58th annual Miss USA ceremony, one of the pageant judges, Perez Hilton, asked Carrie if she believed that every U.S. state should legalize same-sex marriage.
“In my country, in my family, I believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman, no offense to anybody out there,” said Miss California, who was ultimately voted runner-up.
Perez slammed that answer as “the worst in pageant history,” later telling ABC News that it cost Carrie, who turns 22 today, the crown.
Amid the media firestorm the ensured, the former model claimed that Miss California USA officials leaned on her to apologize, after telling her, “You need to not talk about your faith.”
Two weeks after the beauty queen’s gay-nups pan, semi-nude pics of her, taken when she was 17, found their way onto the Internet. In turn, speculation built that she’d be stripped of her Miss California title.
Yesterday, how- ever, Miss USA owner Donald Trump held a press conference to announce that Carrie will keep her crown.
But he also took a swipe at his com- petition, the 88- year-old Miss America pageant, telling Good Morning America that asking Miss USA contestants tough questions has kept the event relevant – while Miss America has been relegated to cable TV.
“Miss America’s gone-zo, and we’re doing phenomenally,” The Donald told the morning show.
This week on BlogTalkRadio’s Mr. Media, Miss America chief, and former worldwide head of television for the William Morris Agency, Sam Haskell discusses the Miss USA controversy with host Bob Andelman.
“In the Miss America system, we encourage our young women to have an opinion and if a Miss America contestant had had that opinion on national television, none of our judges would have ever come out against her,” he says.
“None of them would have ever gone on a blog and talked about it to bring all this negative attention. They would have respected her as we ask them to for having an opinion,” adds Sam, whose wife, Mary Donnelly Haskell, is a form- er Miss Mississippi, and whose new memoir is titled Promises I Made My Mother.
“The only way a Miss America contestant can lose points is if she has no opinion. We want them to have opinions. We want them to be who they are. And they will not be persecuted.”
To hear Sam’s full interview, click here.