Jun 5, 2018

The big picture: How Miss America is rebranding for #MeToo

Photo: Donna Connor/Sygma/Sygma via Getty Images

Gretchen Carlson, former Miss America and chair of the Board of Trustees of the Miss America Organization, announced on Tuesday's Good Morning America that Miss America will no longer be a "pageant," but a "competition" — and contestants will no longer be judged on their outward physical appearances.

Big picture: The changes are a result of the #MeToo movement that has swept the country. Meanwhile, Miss America Organization now has it's first all-women leadership team following reports that the organization's former leaders and employees referenced the weight and sex lives of contestants in disparaging emails.

What's changing
  • Women of "all shapes and sizes" will now be welcome to the Miss America competition.
  • The competition will no longer include a swimsuit portion, but instead, contestants will participate in an interactive session with the judges, "where she will highlight her achievements and goals in life and how she will use her talents, passion, and ambition to perform the job of Miss America," according to the organization.
  • Instead of an evening gown portion, the contestants will now be asked to wear something that makes them feel confident.
"We’ve heard from a lot of young women who say, ‘We’d love to be a part of your program but we don’t want to be out there in high heels and a swimsuit,’ so guess what, you don’t have to do that anymore."
— Gretchen Carlson on Good Morning America

Carlson herself was instrumental at the start of the #MeToo movement, when she settled a lawsuit against Fox's Roger Ailes in 2016. Her lawsuit, among others, ultimately resulted in Ailes stepping down from his role as Chairman at Fox.

Go deeper

Situational awareness

Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Mike Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 NDAs
  2. Wells Fargo to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges
  3. Bloomberg campaign says Tennessee vandalism "echoes language" from Bernie supporters
  4. Scoop: New White House personnel chief tells Cabinet liaisons to target Never Trumpers
  5. Nearly half of Republicans support pardoning Roger Stone

Wells Fargo agrees to pay $3 billion to settle consumer abuse charges

Clients use an ATM at a Wells Fargo Bank in Los Angeles, Calif. Photo: Ronen Tivony/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Wells Fargo agreed to a pay a combined $3 billion to the Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission on Friday for opening millions of fake customer accounts between 2002 and 2016, the SEC said in a press release.

The big picture: The fine "is among the largest corporate penalties reached during the Trump administration," the Washington Post reports.

Bloomberg offers to release women from 3 nondisclosure agreements

Mike Bloomberg. Photo: Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Mike Bloomberg said Friday his company will release women identified to have signed three nondisclosure agreements so they can publicly discuss their allegations against him if they wish.

Why it matters, via Axios' Margaret Talev: Bloomberg’s shift in policy toward NDAs comes as he tries to stanch his loss of female support after the Las Vegas debate. It is an effort to separate the total number of harassment and culture complaints at the large company from those directed at him personally. That could reframe the criticism against him, but also protect the company from legal fallout if all past NDAs were placed in jeopardy.