Was the historic 2022 Miss USA pageant rigged? Its parent organization investigates
The historic ‘Miss USA’ pageant is about to hit the books. The first winner was announced this week and, depending on who you believe, the pageant might be the last to be as open as it was in 1970. (Not so, says the pageant’s parent organization.)
The organization’s board of directors is investigating the allegations, which have not been made public, and has asked that the board’s report be made available to the public in March.
The organization’s parent company, Donald J. Trump, announced in late December that the $1.5 million prize for the pageant — which costs a lot more to host and run than its stated $30 million budget — would be donated to the State Department, the Department of Defense and the U.S. Air Force.
The pageant was founded in 1957 in conjunction with the now-defunct National Council for an Education in Journalism, which used radio and newspapers to publicize the event.
“Miss USA is an internationally popular event, and there is an opportunity in this for the Miss Universe Organization to do something special to help the United States and our allies to preserve America’s national defense capabilities,” said the pageant’s president, Lisa M. Gilderman, who is also the vice president of Trump’s presidential campaign in Florida and a former Miss USA.
But several pageant fans and longtime pageant observers have become irate, calling the pageant an “elitist” and a “hypocritical” event.
“It’s an example of the way the pageant has gone from being a platform for upwardly mobile women to being an elitist and elitist-approved way to judge beauty,” said Kathy Schickler, a New York-born former pageant pageant judge and mother of three.