A contestant in the Miss Massachusetts competition has resigned in protest after a master of ceremonies made fun of the Me Too movement in a skit.
Maude Gorman, who won the 2018 Miss Plymouth County title before advancing to the state’s Miss America preliminary round, has been outspoken about her own sexual assault at age 13, and has advocated for other survivors. She told CNN she “instantly knew [she] had to do something” after she heard the joke mocking the Me Too movement while she was backstage as a contestant for Miss Massachusetts.
Believing that the skit crossed a line, Gorman resigned from her title as Miss Plymouth County 2018 on Saturday.
“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,” Gorman wrote on Instagram. “I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING.”
Gorman told CNN she does not plan to compete in any more pageants.
The host of the Miss Massachusetts contest appeared in a controversial skit about the removal of the swimsuit competition from Miss America pageants, as seen in a video obtained by Observer.
In the skit, a kneeling woman cries out: “We may have very well seen the last ever swimsuit competition on stage. It’s very upsetting, and I’m trying to understand, God, why it happened.”
“Me too, Amy,” replies a man dressed as God and holding a “#MeToo” sign.
The move to end the swimsuit competition, which was announced last month, was part of the Miss America Organization’s attempts to be more inclusive in response to the Me Too movement.
On Tuesday, Miss Massachusetts MAO posted an apology for the skit on Facebook.
“The skit was not in the script and was not authorized by the board,” the group said. “Moving forward, we will review all content with future emcees and other participants prior to our show to be sure offensive or potentially offensive content is not allowed.”
In wake of the Me Too movement, Miss America underwent an organizational overhaul. Its leadership now consists of all women, after emails were uncovered last year revealing sexist and misogynistic remarks from leaders.