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

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U.S. cities crack down on protesters

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Major U.S. cities have implemented curfews and called on National Guard to mobilize as thousands of demonstrators gather across the nation to continue protesting the death of George Floyd.

The state of play: Hundreds have already been arrested as tensions continue to rise between protesters and local governments. Protesters are setting police cars on fire as freeways remain blocked and windows are shattered, per the Washington Post. Law enforcement officials are using tear gas and rubber bullets to try to disperse crowds and send protesters home.

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George Floyd protests: What you need to know

Photo: David Dee Delgado/Getty Images

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The big picture: Floyd's death in Minneapolis police custody is the latest reminder of the disparities between black and white communities in the U.S. and comes as African Americans grapple with higher death rates from the coronavirus and higher unemployment from trying to stem its spread.

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

In photos: Protesters and police clash nationwide over George Floyd

A firework explodes behind a line of police officers next to the Colorado State Capitol during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Denver on May 30. Photo : Michael Ciaglo/Getty Images

Police used tear gas, rubber bullets and pepper spray as the protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd continued nationwide into early Sunday.

The big picture: Police responded over the weekend with force, in cities ranging from Salt Lake City to Atlanta to Des Moines, Houston to Detroit, Milwaukee to Washington, D.C., Denver and Louisville. Large crowds gathered in Minneapolis on Saturday for the fifth day in a row.