24-year-old beauty queen Maude Gorman turned her tiara in after a skit at the Miss Massachusetts competition ridiculed the #MeToo movement.
Gorman announced that she was resigning her title as Miss Plymouth County on Instagram as a result of the unexpected skit on June 30, which lamented the demise of the Miss America swimsuit competition by making a crack at #MeToo.
In the skit, which pageant authorities maintain was neither scripted nor authorized, a beauty queen tells ‘God’ that she doesn’t understand why the swimsuit pageant had to end. “Me too, Amy,” God replies, while holding up a #MeToo sign. While the crowd whooped and cheered, Gorman stood backstage, horrified. That’s because the beauty queen was gang raped when she was 13, and didn’t find the mocking of rape survivors to be particularly funny subject matter.
“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,” wrote Gorman on Instagram. “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.’”
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. 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. #metoo #missplymouthcounty #nomore #rainn #surviveandthrive
“It was so inappropriate for that night,” Gorman told The New York Times, adding, “I was just so taken aback. I was offended, not only as a survivor. It made all the work I did, well, it slammed it in my face.”
The beauty queen also told NBC Boston over the weekend that she felt betrayed by the skit. “To mock a movement that has empowered survivors to stand up is inappropriate, and especially a women’s empowerment organization, should be unacceptable,” she said.
The Miss Massachusetts organization posted an apology on Facebook, writing: “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.”
According to CNN, Gorman was gang raped by three men at age 13, keeping it a secret for three years afterwards out of shame and fear. She suffered from PTSD and insomnia and struggled in school as a result of the violent attack.
“When I turned 16, I didn’t know where my life was headed and I was disappointed. And I felt like I was failed because the adults around me didn’t recognize the signs. I told my mom in the car and she knew something big was coming,” she said. Gorman’s mom got her the help she needed, and she eventually graduated high school with honors.
Gorman also revealed that she will no longer participate in beauty pageants, and will focus instead on a college tour during which she hopes to spread awareness about sexual assault. “I am done with pageants. I don’t see myself competing again,” she said. “I am happy with leaving the pageant world behind me.”