Maude Gorman, a contestant for Miss Massachusetts, quit the contest last week after a skit made fun of the #MeToo movement. Gorman, who survived a gang rape when she was 13, has been a fierce advocate for sexual assault victims.
Gorman, 24, turned in her sash as Miss Plymoth County and withdrew from the Miss Massachusetts contest in protest after a skit made fun of the #MeToo movement and the Miss America Organization's recent decision to do away with the swimsuit portion of the pagent.
The skit, which took place in the final round of the pageant, was first reported by The Observer, which obtained video of it. According to the report:
“We may have very well seen the last ever swimsuit competition on stage. It’s very upsetting,” a woman kneeling on a chair on stage bemoaned as part of the comedy sketch. “And I’m trying to understand, God, why it happened.”
“Me too, Amy,” responded a person dressed as God, holding up a #MeToo sign.
A very vocal part of the crowd cheered following the comment, and the emcee had to wait until the applause died down to proceed. But many of those in attendance were floored by the tone-deaf remark. In the aftermath, at least one title holder is planning to turn in her sash.
That title holder was Maude Gorman. She did resign, the following day, and explained her decision in a heartfelt Instagram post.
“Today, I officially resigned from the title of Miss Plymouth County 2018. While I’m grateful for the opportunities that @missamerica creates for young women, I am also internally conflicted; as the #metoo movement was mocked on stage during the final competition of Miss Massachusetts,'" 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”. Instead, 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. I will not allow ANYONE to take away that empowerment and liberation, or make it anything less than what it is: AMAZING.”
In an interview with CNN, she described the shock she and her fellow contestants felt hearing the skit from backstage, and their disappointment that an organization like Miss America that claims to be about women's empowerment would be so dismissive of a movement about empowering women and survivors of assault.
The Miss Massachusetts chapter of the Miss America organization issued an apology on Facebook:
"The Miss Massachusetts Board of Directors offers our sincere and heartfelt apology for those offended by Saturday night's skit. The skit was not in the script and was not authorized by the board. 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."
Gorman, who represented Massachusetts at the Miss World pageant in 2015, is expressed sadness over leaving the pageant world, but she has a lot of other things going on, like training for her run with Team USA at the Skyrunning world championships in Soctland later this year.