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Posted: July 10, 2018

Miss Massachusetts hopeful gives up regional crown over pageant emcee's #MeToo joke

Maude Gorman, who was Miss Plymouth County, says telling her story of sexual assault isn't easy, but that she has made it her life mission to pass it along.
Maude Gorman, who was Miss Plymouth County, says telling her story of sexual assault isn't easy, but that she has made it her life mission to pass it along.

By Elysia Rodriguez,


A beauty queen is giving up her crown after she says a joke at the Miss Massachusetts pageant made fun of the #MeToo movement.

>> Watch the news report here

Maude Gorman says telling her story of sexual assault isn't easy, but that she has made it her life mission to pass it along.

“I hope to be proof that there is light at the end of the tunnel," Gorman said.

Gorman says her life began spiraling after she was raped at the age of 13.

>> Miss America to end swimsuit competition

“I dropped out of high school; I transferred five times before I even dropped out. People kind of wrote me off as a troubled teen," Gorman said. "I battled obesity and anorexia.”

Yet somehow, she found her own light at the end of the tunnel and turned her life around. 

Gorman is now in the coast guard auxiliary, she's a motivational speaker, an athlete and was Miss Plymouth County.

“I was so excited to compete at Miss Massachusetts," Gorman said.

However, toward the end of the pageant last week, Gorman's excitement turned into disgust.

In an onstage skit, shared by the observer, a woman asked why the swimsuit competition was eliminated. The pageant emcee then held up a sign that said #MeToo.

“It’s not a joke; it should never be a joke," Gorman said. "It’s hard enough to share your story without having to wonder if someone is going to laugh at you.”

After the pageant, she decided to give up her regional crown.

“I had competed for Miss Plymouth County before and was second runner-up, so to finally get that title and to represent where I grew up was a really exciting time so to walk away was hard, but doing the right thing is hard sometimes," Gorman said.

>> Read more trending news 

The Miss Massachusetts Board of Directors issued an apology, saying the "skit was not in the script and was not authorized by the board."

“There were so many talented girls there and everyone is so beautiful and they are all there to make change in this world, so to mock something that has been making change for survivors of sexual assault – it was just counterproductive," Gorman said.

The emcee also issued a statement saying the "skit was meant as a satirical poke at those who are upset that swimsuit is going away. It was intended to be a nod to the #metoo movement, not a knock on it.”

Gorman said she appreciates the apologies but stands by her decision.


Miss America to end swimsuit competition

Miss America is ending the swimsuit portion of its competition, ABC News is reporting.

>> Read more trending news 

The Miss America Organization said early Tuesday that the contest is trading its swimsuit competition for “a live interactive session with the judges” in which participants must “demonstrate their passion, intelligence and overall understanding of the job of Miss America,” ABC News reported.

“We are no longer a pageant; we are a competition,” Gretchen Carlson, who chairs the Miss America Organization’s Board of Trustees, told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday morning. 

The current Miss America, Cara Mund, tweeted soon afterward: “We’re changing out of our swimsuits and into a whole new era.” She added the hashtags #byebyebikini and #MissAmerica2019.

>> See the tweet here

The contest is also nixing its evening gown competition in favor of “asking contestants to wear attire that makes them feel confident,” ABC News reported.

This year’s pageant will air at 9 p.m. ET Sept. 9 on ABC.

Read more here.


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