A contestant in a state-level Miss America competition returned her Miss Plymouth County crown last week after a host of the Miss Massachusetts pageant mocked the #MeToo movement.
In a video reported by the Observer, during the final round of the competition, the host asks why Miss America would eliminate the swimsuit competition from the pageant. A person portraying God holds up a sign that says “#MeToo,” causing the crowd to laugh and cheer.
Maude Gorman did not see the skit but heard it while waiting offstage. She has said she is a sexual assault survivor. She told the Boston Globe in 2015, when she was Miss Massachusetts World, that she had been gang raped by three men when she was 13. In the years that followed, she struggled to sleep and dealt with PTSD, and she has since been vocal about her experience as a sexual assault survivor.
“I really felt betrayed,” Gorman told NBC Boston. “To mock a movement that has empowered survivors to stand up is inappropriate, and especially a women’s empowerment organization, should be unacceptable.”
Soon afterward, Gorman decided to turn in her crown. On an Instagram post, she wrote, “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.’”
“I am done with pageants,” she told CNN. “I am happy with leaving the pageant world behind me.”
The Miss Massachusetts organization later apologized on Facebook and said it had not vetted the skit before the event.