2018 Miss America Cara Mund, Shares Details of Disturbing Behind The Scenes Treatment

Cara Mund
Cara Mund

SAD & SHOCKING NEWS. Thx to Ventnor resident & 1984 Miss America, Suzette Charles, for sending us the following letter. Dated Aug 16, 2018, this was written by Cara Mund, the reigning 2018 Miss America.

Dear Miss America Sisters,

I was extremely touched to receive the care package you sent to me in Orlando with your words of encouragement. It was so thoughtful, and it arrived at exactly the time I needed it most. Thank you so much.

I know there’s a lot of talk right now about the interview I gave to the Press of Atlantic City. Since my time as Miss America is growing short, I want to clear some things up directly with all of you. I apologize ahead of time for the length of this letter, but be assured that what I’m going to tell you is just the tip of the iceberg.

The rhetoric about empowering women, and openness and transparency, is great; however, the reality is quite different. I am living that difference. To stay silent is to give away my power and the power of the women who will follow me.

I am not comfortable with any of us being controlled, manipulated, silenced, or bullied.

I’m also not blind to the relationship between manipulation and plausible deniability. By standing up for myself, I am standing up for all the women who will follow me. At this point, my integrity—and saying and doing the right thing—means more to me than whatever punishment may await me.

When I became Miss America, there were three things I truly looked forward to: using my voice, working on behalf of the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and being an example of an empowered young woman of my generation. The reality, though, has been quite different.

Let me be blunt: I strongly believe that my voice is not heard nor wanted by our current leadership; nor do they have any interest in knowing who I am and how my experiences relate to positioning the organization for the future. I truly felt more valued, respected, and viewed as a real collaborator within my first three months rather than these last eight months. The differences in treatment are stark.

miss america carlson
Gretchen Carlson, Chairwoman of Miss America Organization

Our chair and CEO have systematically silenced me, reduced me, marginalized me, and essentially erased me in my role as Miss America in subtle and not-so-subtle ways on a daily basis.

After a while, the patterns have clearly emerged, and the sheer accumulation of the disrespect, passive-aggressive behavior, belittlement, and outright exclusion has taken a serious toll.

Shortly after the new board took over, I was given three talking points that I was required to use at every appearance and on which I would be critiqued:

  • Miss America is relevant.
  • The #MeToo movement started with a Miss America, Gretchen Carlson.
  • Gretchen Carlson went to Stanford (I was also allowed to mention my own education at Brown University to show that we are both well-educated leaders).

Right away, new leadership delivered an important message: There will be only one Miss America at a time, and she isn’t me.

To reinforce this, they told me that I’m not important enough to do big interviews, and that the major press is “obviously” reserved for Gretchen. Step out of line there and not only do you get treated to being pulled into the office for a dressing down by Regina, but Brent Adams also joins in on the action.


I was told that it’s my fault sponsors have dropped MAO, because I am supposedly “bad at social media.” These days I can only post on my personal social media sites. I no longer have the ability to post freely and engage with followers on the official Miss America accounts like all of my predecessors. Even when it comes to sponsors, I no longer have this ability.

Last week I posted at an event for CMN Hospitals; a few days later, it was removed. In fact, they have now removed my photo from the official CMN fundraising page and replaced it with last year’s Miss America. They post officially for me and as me—misspellings and all—without informing the public that it is not me posting, and often utilize these accounts to promote Gretchen and Regina’s activities. When they shrink my voice in this way, it eliminates my chance to be a spokesperson for my generation on the very platforms where we consume our content.

When Gretchen announced the elimination of swimsuit on Good Morning America, I was also in New York. Although I had already been told by Regina that GMA only wanted Gretchen on the segment, I served as my own advocate and asked if I could attend. Our CEO replied, “Oh, we thought you wanted to sleep in—but sure.” That morning I stood behind the cameras and filmed Gretchen on the GMA set with my phone. Later that day I passed a producer who recognized me, stopped me, and expressed dismay that she didn’t even know I was in the studio. She then asked permission to interview me to get “Miss America’s perspective”. I truly didn’t know what to say to her.

No one needs to remind me that being Miss America is a job.

I have known that and prepared myself to be the spokesperson for this organization with every single thing I have done and every experience I have had, learning from each person I met and each conversation I participated in. Such comments are condescending and are meant solely to suggest I don’t understand this “big girl job” or how and why Miss America is relevant. That could not be further from the truth.

Gretchen and Brent went to Cannes, representing the organization at a global marketing and advertising conference where Gretchen spoke about Miss America in the era of #MeToo. While they were in France, I was back in North Dakota. If I’d been invited to attend and speak about the relevance of Miss America, I would have been able to tell the world how I, as a young leader, have firsthand knowledge and experience regarding the ways in which MAO is supposedly poised for the future. Such an invitation would require the leadership to care who I am and maybe learn why the judges selected me in the first place.

An organization that values their employees, takes the time to communicate with them. Prior to the July 25th Miss America Orientation, Regina hadn’t spoken to me since June 6th, and Gretchen hadn’t spoken to me since June 15th. I wasn’t even respected enough to be informed about this year’s competition date/when my job would end… I found it out on Twitter.Since many of you haven’t had the opportunity to get to know me or have been told “Cara doesn’t want to work with you,” (which couldn’t be further from the truth) here is a little bit more about me. I truly hope you’ll agree that my voice could add value to MAO:

I am the only person in the office with an all encompassing business degree. I graduated with honors in Business, Entrepreneurship, and Organizations with an emphasis in nonprofit organizations. I feel qualified to comment on how a business should function and how employees should be treated. Did you know that I worked with Ashoka, the leading global organization on social impact innovation and integrations, when I was in college? Did you know I completed my senior honors thesis on the Miss America Organization? I went into this job with a strong background in the workings of the organization. I know its strengths and weakness and could have been a valuable resource during this transition.

I have prepared for ups and downs and challenges not just for this job but for any job. My first full-time job was working in Washington, D.C. for Senator John Hoeven. This experience brought me in touch with a wide range of constituents, witnessing their passion for legislation and policies that positively impact their lives. I was working for the Senator during two major events of controversy: 2016 Election and North Dakota’s Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). I know the importance of communication because I was listening and responding to all sides of issues. From that job, I was inspired to continue being an advocate as Miss America. I did everything I could this year to take advantage of this opportunity. I even personally paid part of my airfare to attend the 2018 State of the Union because I wanted Miss America represented!

Messaged in our leadership’s new rhetoric is the importance of women making their own choices and using the universal language of fashion in ways that illustrate and empower them. Working in New York for Agentry PR—a firm specializing in public relations for the fashion industry—gave me a current lens through which to understand what my generation wants to wear and will wear, and how fashion actually can speak about a woman.

In this respect, reality hasn’t just failed to live up to the potential, it has been truly disappointing. Throughout my year, MAO did not have a clothing sponsor. I spent all year buying my own appearance wardrobe. Most of what I bought was rejected, and I was told what I wasn’t permitted to wear.

What happened to the new motto of Miss America getting to express her own sense of style?

The office criticized me for wearing certain items too many times. I frequently had to take pictures of all my outfits, and then my tour manager would come into my hotel room and pick out the clothes I was allowed to wear, saying things like “Regina really likes this one” or “You can’t wear pink. Regina hates pink.” During a photo shoot this year, Regina looked at the Karl Lagerfeld dress I was wearing and said “Yuck. You should burn that. Don’t ever wear that again.”

I eventually reached out to two of the former Miss Americas on the board about some of the issues I had been facing. After Heather French Henry advocated for me, I was reprimanded by Regina who told me that problems and concerns had to be kept “in the family.” If a fellow sister who is also a board member is not “in the family,” who is?

I understand that I am the representative of a brand and a company and employed to do a job. That does not mean that an employer can treat you however they feel like treating you that day. Employers are legally required to provide a workplace free from harassment and bullying. I have been constantly reminded of the provisions in my employment contract that prohibit me from speaking freely:

● The employee’s relationship with the MAO may be terminated at any time, for any reason.

● The employee agrees that the employee will not disparage or subvert the MAO, nor make any statement reflecting negatively on the MAO or its affiliates, principals, employees, agents, or representatives.

● During the term, or at any time thereafter, employee shall not disparage or otherwise make any unfavorable statements, oral or written, or perform any act or omission, which is detrimental to the reputation or goodwill of MAO. For purpose of the prior sentence, MAO shall mean MAO, its successors and affiliates, and their officers, directors and employees.

I signed my contract shortly after I was crowned, without an attorney present, and without a member of the staff or the board there to witness it. When the new leadership came in, I hoped that they would loosen things up a bit, at least to make it consistent with the National Contestant Contract that I actually had time to review and which states that I serve until my successor is chosen at the next National Finals.

But that didn’t happen. My contract still says—and I am regularly reminded by word and action—that I can be fired anytime, with or without cause. In Orlando, the contestants were interested in seeing the employment contract they will be required to sign, but the leadership would not give anyone a copy. Some asked if they could see mine. I am living the contradiction of being “open and transparent”.


Miss America Contestants 1921

About two weeks ago, I started researching workplace bullying. In the State of New Jersey, it is defined as “deliberate insults, threats, demeaning comments, constant criticism, overbearing supervision, profane outbursts, blatant ostracism, being overworked or simply not communicating with colleagues. More subtle forms of bullying can include withholding or supplying incorrect work-related information, sabotaging projects, passive/aggressive behavior, blocking promotions, providing unclear or contradictory instruction or requesting unnecessary or menial work.”

Ultimately, this is my year in a nutshell. Here are some further examples of my time at orientation. Understand that these types of things happen to me every single day.

In Orlando, I watched as the board members and staff sat up front for a meeting with the contestants and state directors, while I was told to go stand in the back of the room and not say anything. When Gretchen and Regina expressed their admiration for me, it was quite disingenuous given our lack of communication, how little they know about me, and especially their false claim that I arrived at 2 am – when in fact I spent the entire prior evening with the teen contestants, attended the MAOT competition, and did my job as Miss America until the last person who wanted to meet me and have their photo taken with me had left the room. The tour manager’s flight was delayed, so, for once, I did not have her listening in on every conversation I had, reporting back to the office who I talk to and what I say, nor was I smothered—at least briefly—with a ridiculous level of security charged with making sure people did not get a chance to speak to me one-on-one.

There’s also a concerning back channel among the staff and leadership of reporting false information about me. It paints me in a light that is untrue and definitely unfair. You will have to ask yourself what their motives are, because I have given up trying to understand this game.

For instance, in Orlando, I was attending the Children’s Miracle Network Hospital Dance Marathon. I was told by the tour manager to meet her at a certain time and place. I left my room to get to the appointed spot on time. When she was late, I checked my phone and saw that four minutes before our scheduled meet time, she’d sent me another text changing the location. Before I could even answer her, I received a text meant for one of the security guards assigned to me (sent to me by mistake) where the tour manager claimed that I was “MIA, again!” Reality did not fit this latest fake scenario, as I was not MIA. I never have been. I was exactly where I was supposed to be.

On another night that week, I was excited to host a pizza party for the incoming class of amazing young women eager to learn about the job they are vying for. Contestants were ready for frank and honest dialogue with me. That is also what I was promised. Instead, into the room walked the tour manager and two security guards, Marc Angeli, and Regina, who promptly took their seats. You could feel the mood shift in the room; the message of intimidating me into silence, making sure I “keep it in the family” was sent and received.

As if that weren’t enough, Regina intentionally belittled me in front of the contestants, seemingly forgetting my name and calling me “Kira”. Of the 5 MAO staff members in attendance, not a single one corrected her. In fact, the next morning the tour manager “pulled a Regina” and identified my name incorrectly again. Several contestants came up to me after and said “ I can’t believe they don’t know your name.”’ If I can be so openly belittled—to the point where my actual, personal identity is removed in front of the contestants—it can, and will, happen to them too. It was another low point for me.

No Miss America should be humiliated or erased. Ever.

So, I want to ask you a favor. Just take a minute to reflect on how you might feel had you held the title this past year. I never expected my year to be perfect, especially under the circumstances. Imagine what it would be like if you were alone, not knowing who you could trust.

Imagine that you finally got up the courage to speak up, not just for yourself, but for the fifty-one women who are dreaming that they will have your job just a month from now. Imagine how it would feel if it was actually two of your fellow Miss Americas who slapped back in the press and threw you under the bus. What you said couldn’t be true, right? It must just be that you misunderstood what it meant to have an adult job. I’ll skip to the end: it was devastating. Do I not deserve a voice because my experience has been different from theirs?

It didn’t take me six months to see that my actions reflected on the organization. I understood that on day one. Or that it was a job, and a difficult one at that. That’s always been pretty obvious. I don’t want to leave this mess for the next Miss America. This is not a self-serving organization, and I want her year to be better than my year. This letter is for her. I don’t want her to have to live in constant fear, expecting to be degraded and punished while she should be having an amazing experience.

LISTEN: 2016 Archives. Mel Taylor interviews Miss America Org CEO, Sam Haskell.

ACprimetime’s Mel Taylor & Sam Haskell, Former MAO CEO.

If you want Miss America to be relevant, then the leadership needs to understand she is not a wind-up toy who they can power up to spit out the meaningless words that are put into her mouth, and then put back on the shelf until it’s time to do it again. I do not want her to have to stand in the back, literally or metaphorically.

As many of you know, the Press of Atlantic City story posted on a Saturday. As I expected, the retribution was swift. Within 72 hours, I was told my final farewell as Miss America would be cut to a total of 30 seconds for the national telecast. The following day, I was told my custom “Show Me Your Shoes” Parade Costume which had already been made, publicized by the designer, and based on a July 2018 agreement with MAO would no longer be allowed. How will we get sponsors if their word means nothing? Not only are they dictating my final appearance, but they are also reducing my final words.

I haven’t felt like Miss America for the last 8 months, and now, they are even taking away my goodbye.

I never expected—or wanted—to have to be a whistleblower. I am so saddened that the board seems more inclined to look the other way than to speak out. I ask you for your help, support, and voices, because I have no doubt that without them, the leadership will simply continue to push out, silence, and tighten security to reduce access around Miss America. Miss America is fragile right now. She needs all of us if she is going to survive.

Cara

  • Penny says:

    Some traditions are no longer relevant. This event is one of them. The money saved can be put to better use.

  • Kathy says:

    Cara – those of us who know this organization is not about the rhinestones love and support you. I’m sorry that you have been put in this position. Thank you for speaking the truth.

  • Candy says:

    I’m speechless and heartbroken for Cara and for the tradition that WAS Miss America! Hello Gretchen…the #MeToo movement started in 1920 when women were granted the right to vote. You didn’t start anything, actually your actions just buried it!!

  • Deanna says:

    Thank you for speaking up Cara!

  • Chelsi says:

    Huge applause for you, Cara, and your bravery to be open about this. I’m a former contestant and a current director in the MAO and I have had a bad gut feeling in the last year about the direction things are going. Now I see that my intuition is correct.

  • Andrea says:

    North Dakota girls don’t take shit, not even our beauty queens. Proud of you Cara for not allowing them to silence and bully you. The Miss America Organization should be ashamed of themselves. You may not be proud of her, but we are.

  • Nina Wagar says:

    I read this and it brings me to tears. Gretchen is no longer Miss America. I am outraged at how you are being treated and am so scared for our next Miss America. They are supposed to be your support not a dictator or the ones who crave the lime light. I have worked with and know two amazing directors Dana Phillips and Peggy Miller who lead with heart . They have had many title holders who were respected and know that they are always part of the pageant family.
    You are loved and respected by so many outside of the little circle you are working with. Thank you for your letter and I am so sorry for how you are being treated.

    Nina

  • Sadie says:

    To my fellow Nodak sister Cara,
    Nobody treats a North Dakotan like that and gets away with it!! I hope you know that you have an entire state full of people that support you in good times and in bad. Keep fighting the good fight!

  • Becca says:

    So sorry you’re going through this and I applaud you for taking a stance and speaking up. As a former title holder in my state, I cannot imagine not having the support of the top leaders who should be there right beside you, cheering you on. I hope you are able to say your goodbye the appropriate way and keep the crown – while finishing your year in the way you deserve! I can guarantee you there are many more that had the same experience but were too scared to speak up (due to being stripped of the crown.) Positive vibes being sent your way! Thanks for not backing down and speaking up for future title holders.

  • Suzi says:

    From N.D. This makes me so sad. I pray that leadership gets their heads on straight – sooner rather than later. Our state is so very proud of you and that will not change! I also pray for you and have so much respect for you to speak about your situation.

  • Tiffany Vasey says:

    Cara, thank you for sharing this terrible experience with us. Your words should be heard as this is a disgrace to the MAO. I am a former contestant and cannot even believe your year. You are one strong woman and I could not be more proud of you as our Miss America!
    Tiffany
    Former Miss Monroe Co. 2002

  • Monica says:

    Cara
    So proud of you standing up to this. You are an amazing young woman. sorry you’ve had such a bad experience doing something you worked so hard to attain

  • Susie says:

    Cara, this is so awful!! It’s just so sad that they refused to let you be the strong intelligent voice that you are. I hope you coming out and saying this publicly will put a stop to their actions! I was so excited and proud of you the night you won and knew you would be the best Miss America ever!! So sad they didn’t allow you the freedom to do just that! Keep on talking about this, maybe someone will do something about it! Take care, and please know none of this is your fault!

  • Gloria says:

    I have a long history with MOA starting with housing contestants in the 80’s and being a chaperone for Miss ND. My granddaughter has been a Miss MN contestant the last two years and we saw this coming. My granddaughter has been encouraged to take a year off with the new changes to watch and wait. Gretchen needs to step back or leave as she has now turned MOA into her own platform. The treatment of Cara should lead to a house cleaning. How is this treatment any different from what Gretchen has alleged. It may not contain sexual abuse but every other abuse. Did she learn nothing on how to treat people. Cara hold your head up, the judges picked you not the leadership of MOA. Thanks for speaking up. You are loved by many.

    • connie jensen says:

      Disgusting! I really thought Gretchen would be more supportive! She has taken the “me too” thing to her head and thinks it has given her power over you, to fullfill YOUR legacy. Shame on you, Gretchen! I have supported Miss America for over 55 yrs. and always thought “CLASS” when associated with this. Please give Miss America a voice, Gretchen-what she has to say-matters!!!

    • Kirsten says:

      Go mom!

  • Jane Cornell says:

    I proudly #standwithCara! Stay ND strong!

  • Barbara Griffin says:

    I say how do we get rid of these idiots trying to make a name for themselves. They should be lock up for bullying these girls that have worked so hard to represent the Padgett. They probably always wanted the attention that their looks could not get them.

  • David Long says:

    Cara, Thank you for bringing light to the issues at hand. These issues must be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. Does Gretchen forget what it’s like to be bullied so soon after her own harassment? Shame on them. I support YOU all the way! You are MISS AMERICA, and no one can take that away from you! Keep fighting the good fight. I know you didn’t anticipate being put in this situation, but God has his hands on you and is leading you for a reason. Have hope, believe in yourself and keep remaining the strong woman, with a voice, that you are! Warm Regards, David

  • Maria says:

    Good for you!!! They should be ashamed of themselves. Has beens

  • Sharon Anderson says:

    You are the first Miss North Dakota that has ever won and we are so proud of you. So very sorry that this has happened to you. If this is how the mean girls are going to play it is time to quit. You are a hero here in ND and loved by us. I am guessing that you intimidated the mean girls and they didn’t like it so they torn you down. I know I for one will not be watching this event any more. God Bless you dear one. 🙏🙏🙏

  • Donna G says:

    Cara Thank You for bring this to the attention of the public. What I have a question about is why does Gretchen Carlson think she can encourage the treatment of another woman in this manner.? She ranted and raved about how she was mistreated at Fox News so you would think that she would learn from her experience and not treat another woman or human the same way. After reading this information from you I have absolutely no respect for the Organization and the board and officers and will not watch another production knowing that the woman that gets crowned will be treated with disrespect, bullied, and not valued. I am truly sorry that a event that was supposed to be a highlight in your life turned into such a negative experience.

  • Robin says:

    Sounds like a couple of has beens trying to relive their reigns by high jacking yours! Shame on them! You are a brave woman! Finish YOUR reign with the grace you have always displayed.

  • Meg says:

    I am proud of you for speaking up, Cara. No one should have to endure what you endured. Gretchen needs to go.

  • Marilyn Hodnefield says:

    What a bunch of bad news. I support Cara Mund

  • Kathleen Hewson says:

    As a former AC hostess for 18 years I can only express my sadness at what your year has been like. I am hugely disappointed and share similar feelings with many long time hostesses. AC local interest has dwindled and with swimsuit and runway gone, very few even care to attend. My disappointment in Gretchen has no bounds. Your grace and courage should be an example to her and Regina. Please know that there is a huge group of ladies who have given innumerable hours to the pageant who are proud of your courage. I hope this brings you some joy. God bless. Kathleen Hewson

  • Wanda Meland says:

    So very sad, you deserved so much more and the MAO needs this wake up call. Thank you for trying against a force of fakes. I am proud of you for the truth being heard!

  • Phyllis says:

    What a seriously crappy way to treat someone! I truly feel your pain and concern, as I was also bullied at a job, in much the same fashion as you’ve been Cara. What a sham! To promote empowerment and then stomp, stunt, obfuscate, and crush the spirit and “face” of the woman holding the title!! Their behavior is why MAO will go the way of the dodobird. Transparency? Hardly! You have my respect and my sympathy. What a lesson learned. Leave with your head held high Cara.

  • Deanna Fogarty (Miss California 1979) says:

    “Abuse of power” is a cancer, that will only die when truth and courage merge. Thank you Cara for being a fierce representative…#standwithCara

  • Jim in AC says:

    Hey Nodak supporters, there are a lot of folks right here in Atlantic City that fully support Cara’s right to express her views openly & honestly! Any attempts to further her will be met by lots of protestors in front of Boardwalk Hall that night.

  • Janet says:

    The Me too movement is an embarrassment to women☹️. They have not set out to improve anything for women only to try and bully their beliefs on others.

  • Carolyn says:

    Cara,
    Thank you for having the courage to speak about your experiences. As a former competitor and mother of a current titleholder I have observed with great concern the tribulations of the MAO. MAO is most certainly still relevant, foremost because they have the courage to make changes that are necessary to keep it so. That being said, the mismanagement of this situation is disgraceful. I was present for every moment of MAO Teen and your presence there was exemplary. No one on the outside would have guessed what you were going through. My daughter was particularly inspired when you shared your MAO teen story. Coming from another ” small pageant state” that has never won, she hopes to have another chance as a miss. However your current situation resolves, your courage, integrity and compassion ensures that you will undoubtedly be successful in your future ,becuse these are the necessary qualities of a leader.

  • Emily says:

    I have been a huge Miss America fan for 15 years now but I definitely don’t want to support the MAO anymore. Praying Cara gets what she deserves.

  • Tina says:

    Cara I am so glad you’re speaking up and making us all aware of what is going on. Such a shame you have been treated this way. In your corner beautiful. Stay strong!

  • Lori says:

    thank you cara! from a local director. COURAGE!

  • Glenn Elliott Stephens says:

    Dear Cara,

    I loved you the moment you were crowned an even moreso now! You ARE Miss America and deservably so! Continue to be true to yourself and stand talk while those who waiver, fall; and they will.

    About two months ago, I joined the MAO Fan Forum after being highly “vetted” for relevance to the group and was immediately “silenced” by the MOD Squad, who I began calling the “ODD Squad” on the page because they felt the meed to replly and infer their thoughts and opinions on every single post!

    One individual mentioned he hoped his State Representative DIDN’T win so they could keep her nearby and safe!

    I jokingly commented, “Oooh, you’re going to get edited in about 30 seconds; to which the writer replied with, “LOL”.

    Within seconds I was bombarded by e-mails regarding how the MAO believes and respects freedom of speech and how they would never, nor do they have power to, edit another’s comments. To continue, I was then told, “if we read something we don’t like, or is inappropriate, we’ll delete it; but not edit.

    I then questioned their previous remark about respect and freedom of speech and how that goes hand-in-hand with comment deletion and furthermore, that deletion IS a form of editing and it became and endless tirade of justification. They even had the nerve to say, “so your ‘Odd Squad’ as you’ve named us, would never…..” AND began posting screenshots of MY POSTS on the page! At that point, I officially left the group and said “good-bye” to the MAO; also taking my annual $5,000 local Pageant Scholarship with me!

    Although my story is far leas heartbreaking than your reign, it is supportive evidence of your expose so additional readers can aee that this type of behavior from the new MAO “Leadership?” is happening at all levels!

    We love you Cara so keep your head high and stick to your convictions and your official “good-bye” as Miss America well last much longer than 30 seconds! You’ll be in the history books for all time as the final Miss America before the MAO crumbled and died!

    Much love, Cara!

  • Ann says:

    What a disappointment this new leadership is. Sounds like a bunch of self-serving mean girls! I really hope something is done before they crown a new Miss America. These young women have worked too hard to be thrown into this and they do not deserve it.

  • Mary C says:

    Show them about North Dakota has a back bone. Keep it up!!👏

  • Rebecca Wippler says:

    Very Proud of you Cara !! You are true North Dakota Lady !! True North Dakota Ladies Do Not Let Others Bully , Manipulate, Or Silence Us !! We will always hold you as our Miss America in our hearts ! We Love You Sweetheart and Are Here To Support You !! Thank You For Being Honest and Respectable Human Being and Let Everyone Know How Crooked and Fake This Miss America Organization Is , God Bless You And Hold Your Head High Hon , You Got This .

  • Nikki says:

    God bless you, and I am saddened to hear you were treated so poorly. My advice would be take your goodbye to social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and I guarantee the views you will receive will be drastically more than saying goodbye on their dictatorship program.

  • Tracy says:

    Cara,
    I admire your strength. I hope that by speaking out you can bring the necessary changes needed within this organization and help future Miss America will ners with a better platform for them to be able to express themselves. You are truly amazing. Keep your head held high and know that you helped the future Miss America’s by speaking up.

  • beth says:

    Cara, ND strong, you go girl. SOOO disappointed with Gretchen, what the what? Unbelievable, so glad you spoke up Cara. Shame on them, they are missing out on a very intelligent woman, who worked so hard for this title so sad. Gretchen why are you treating her this way? Especially after the way you were treated!!! My goodness!!!!

  • Sheri Hallgren says:

    This is unbelievable…you should have a good attorney & file harassment suit. There are laws about this very issue. I know about this as I went through similar experience in the work place. Commend you for your strength & go forward- that is your power. You can pm me if you wish.😊

  • Alexa Peseri says:

    Cara: You rock!!! …says every Brown alum who knows your story. You might be losing the (nonexistent) respect of MAO leadership, but you are validating the respect I and many others have for you. You were a leader on campus and you are a leader in the real world, no matter how much uncertainty, challenge, and insincerity it throws your way. I’d love for you to be involved in the next Brown Women’s Conference, run by the Women’s Leadership Council (WLC). I went to the first big conference last year and believe it is happening on campus every few years. If interested, try e-mailing wlc@brown.edu. Rock on, Cara. You are a force to be reckoned with! #EverTrue

  • Carol says:

    Sounds like the kind of thing that happens to people at many jobs. If it’s a job like any other, ride it out until the end of your contract and move on. Have your say, fight for your rights, but don’t expect the world to come roaring to your defense. We’ve all had crappy jobs where we’re micromanaged and/or silenced and bullied. It’s life.

  • Carol Bell says:

    Wow I feel the next Miss America needs to have them rewrite the contract she signs and that Regina chick needs to be kicked to the curb along with Gretchen!

  • Stephanie says:

    #standwithCara
    You are amazing and YOU are what MAO stands for! Good for you!! Thank you for sharing the truth for all these women and girls!

  • Janet says:

    We Stand with you, Cara! I hope the mess they have of this organization is cleaned up. ND Strong, thanks for speaking out!
    We are proud of you!

  • Lily says:

    I am so sorry and sad to read this mistreatment of our Miss America Cara Mund.
    Gradshen Carlson and her cronies should be ashamed of themselves. Miss America program is not what it used to be. Shameful treatment of young women with big dreams. Why anyone wood wont to be part of that???

  • Victoria Michaels says:

    Cara — we are so sorry to hear that you had to endure all of this toxic chaos! When we watched Gretchen Carlson’s “less than stellar” appearance on (ABC) “The View” — We were dumbfounded. Where was Miss America 2018? It was obvious that Carlson had hijacked your platform as Miss America for her own message.

    Carlson released a book — so we didn’t need to hear her message echoed through out the Miss America organization and “your reign.” Truth is, Gretchen is an old “former” and a fading “has been” who stole your limelight. Shame on her audacity! Gretchen had her reign decades / generations ago. She of all people should have had compassion for poor and stressful work place experiences. Now, to know that she now sits at the realm as a boss / chairwoman who’s dishing out abusive and bullylike behavior is disappointing and unacceptable.

    Keep your head up Cara — you are very brave and courageous to speak out. If Gretchen Carlson and her fellow colleagues dare to hold any of this against you — then it will be a very sad day for the entire #MeToo movement. Everything you’ve had to endure is a crying shame — you certainly deserve so much better.

    The truth will stand when the worlds a blaze. Gretchen is running the prestige of the Miss America Organization into the hole — so she needs to step down and away permanently to let you shine on your final night.

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with everyone Cara — and just know that we the fans and supporters of Miss America stand with you — not Gretchen!

    Victoria Michaels
    Miss Florida F.I. 2007

  • Steve says:

    Time for people to boycott watching the Miss America Pageant this year. No audience, no sponsors, no money and accolades for Gretchen!! Everything you said is also happening in the Miss California Organization and is happening in some of the local City Pageants that are under the Miss California/ Miss America Organizations. Time for full investigations from the top all the way down to the States and local pageants. Thank you for your courage to speak up! Hopefully this will get things changed for the better.👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

  • Barbara L. says:

    This makes me very upset to really know this is all true. Years ago I attended Miss America when I was a US title holder and they didn’t like me being there, 27 years ago. At that time I felt this system is not for me, I could feel and sense
    Things, not to mention.
    But you stay strong and get through this last month, it’s almost over. I think the swimsuit should stay and Gretchen should go and leave the pageant great like it once was and is known to be.
    I have never missed a year watching it on tv and will watch you as you proudly walk the walk. Best of luck.

  • Carol says:

    Cara, I am so sad that the people in control of a job that we all would love to have been selected to do could be so hurtful and disrespectful, only shallow people would do that to a Miss America. Try not to be hurt, consider the sources. We are behind you and I am so proud of the beautiful woman inside and out that ND had the privilege to send to the Miss America pageant. I hope you can enjoy the remainder of your reign.

  • Mary Nevin-Crooks says:

    Miss America: Cara Mund has finally had enough! Reading this well written article made me feel so disheartened and sad for this lovely young woman, who is obviously more than just a beautiful face!

    Please share this article far and wide.

    Shocking that in this day and age bullying like this is ongoing in the workplace. I hope Gretchen, Regina and Brett gets what is coming to them.

    This is vile and degrading what Cara has been made to endure.

    Good for Cara for speaking out and making her voice heard!!!!! She is a true role model for young women and should be respected as the current Miss America.

    Cara has an Honours Business Degree and instead of this being utilised they have systematically silenced her. It’s a disgrace this isn’t happening in 2018 and in America.

    Shameful!

  • Angel Stewart says:

    My heart breaks for you & all those to follow this path. Well done in speaking up! I’m a ND girl too, I’m not surprised to see that you are standing up for what is important. We will spread the word! Prayers for you!

  • Linds Zeller says:

    Unfortunately, this has become the “norm” in the Business and Political World. It’s time for more good, honest people like you, Cara, to stand up against this kind of treatment. Where do you think our children are learning bullying from. Abuse, emotional or physical is not acceptable. Stand up….treat others as you would want them to treat you. You’re absolutely right, Cara, esp. on communication which is the foundation of any relationship, personal or business. It’s important for everyone to Stand Up for themselves and for the future. People who treat others so degrading are full of greed and yes hate. They are lacking in their own self-worth thus striking out to belittle others in order to puff themselves up. We all need to stand up for ourselves; it’s not an easy road. It’s the old age battle between good and evil. Never belittle yourself and know it’s not you….the problem is greed and hate. Keep Smiling and moving forward. Prayers for you Cara.

  • sandy kienzle says:

    Cara, you are so beautiful inside and out. Such a brave and intelligent women you are! We are so proud of you and we hope you can help change this unfair world of ours! Bullies all need to go away! We love you. Go girl!!! Sandy Kienzle

  • Paulette says:

    I am very proud of your courage, sincerity, and wisdom. You are a wonderful mentor to many young ladies. North Dakota is blessed for your representation of our state and our great country. Stay strong. You are supported by so many people who love all that you have accomplished this last year. Thank you and God Bless you.

  • Dixie Wagner says:

    Thank you for everything you’ve done as Miss America. They truly have an amazing, strong & talented LADY in you. I am so disappointed to hear how unfairly they have treated you. They don’t realize what an amazing young women you are. You spoke at our convention & everyone was more than impressed. You stayed way longer than you were supposed to & made sure everyone & anyone that wanted a picture got one, young & old! I’m proud your standing up for the future Miss America, if not you WHO?

  • Brenda Carr says:

    We stand with you Cara!! They should all be fired. Stand up for what you believe in. Everyone will hear your voice and hopefully start changing some positions. Stay Strong Girl, we love you and stand with you all the way.

  • Judi Mohr says:

    This sounds a lot like the movie plot of Miss Congeniality with Sandra Bullock and Candace Bergen. Sorry to read that art imitates real life. Gretchen Carlson sounds like a real narcissist trying to relive her glory days in the MAO spotlight. New flash Gretchen, to those of us outside of the new media and pageant circles, you are just not relevant.

  • Jillaine Rabine says:

    My daughter was 1st RU to Miss America several years ago. So glad now she didn’t win!

    Cara, you need to take over! You would do a great job.

    • Patricia says:

      God chose David to fight the giant, Goliath! He has chosen a little gal from the lowly state of N.D. to bring down the mighty from their high places! Shame be upon MAO! Get out, all of you who revel in this mockery of decent young women!

      • Jim says:

        Lowly state of North Dakota? Get off your high horse

        • Jenny waslaski says:

          Jim maybe you should open your eyes and ears and before you throw your petty comment out there realize we North Dakota men and women have a lot to repect Cara for. She spoke out instead of laying down and taking the treatment of some low life bitches who don’t know how to do there job, oh yeah it is “supporting Miss America!!!

  • Lorraine Carlson says:

    I am a former board member of the Miss Nebraska pageant, and what Cara has been put through by the current Miss America board is a travesty. I support removing the current board BEFORE the airing of the pageant in September. No one should have to put up with this type of work environment. Lorraine Carlson

  • Jasmine says:

    Cara, I’m so sorry you had to go through this! I had a very similar experience as a Fair and Rodeo Queen in 2014. It’s so sad when you look forward to all you can do for your community. I’m so thankful you are speaking out and being such a strong advocate!

  • Roxanne Mairs Ellis says:

    So sad that women who go around under the pretense of advocating for women’s rights can’t recognize the hipocracy of their own behaviors. I hope they read this and do the right thing, which is step down from the board and let someone takeover who can lift up the next winner and treat her with respect. So disheartening to hear your experience was to be belittled, disrespected and silenced. Show them you ‘can’t put Cara in a corner’ and move on to bigger and better things. You can teach them a lesson by becoming ND governor, Senator or House of Representatives member. So very proud of you for advocating for yourself and future contestants. The workplace won’t improve for women if we just put up with the status quo and sweep it under the rug. Thanks for using your voice to make a change. Please use it in Washington to enact bigger changes in our society. Starting at the very top.

  • Sandy Nikolai says:

    These board members and anyone following this destructive work instruction not to mention behavior or engaged willing “FIRED”. This injustice I hope is a lawsuit taking place for compensation of this injustice to her. But her own clothes? Wow. Undeserving and I’ve been a huge fan of miss America pageant and I’m so ashamed of their treatment. They should be forced to publicly apologize and ask for her forgiveness and Gods. The past miss America’s on this board should have their title removed. They are undeserving. God knows what you did and we’re doing and now the world has been enlightened. How do you look in the mirror? Shame on you!

  • Sheri Singer says:

    Cara, I am so very sorry about your terrible treatment. The board members should be fired before the pageant, and you should get to say your goodbye and take as long as you want. Shame on those bullies! They should be sued for the harassment you have experienced! You are strong, smart, and beautiful!

  • Brenda Foster says:

    Cara, hold your head high and continue your life knowing you are a strong, independent woman who has a powerful future ahead of you. It’s very sad when a Miss America has her voice taken away by the very organization she represents. I look forward to seeing great things coming from you as you move forward. Best wishes and good luck on your future.

  • Desiree Larson says:

    Gretchen Carlson is a “ has- been” and is trying to use the MAO to further her self interests. Shame on you Gretchen, your bullying of Cara Mund is what happened to you at Fox? It makes me wonder, it lessens your position and argument! The MAO needs to clean house! We #standwithCara

  • Kari says:

    Unbelievable, no one should be treated like this. Bunch of power drunk bullies.

  • Diane Buschow says:

    I grew up in ND and I am so proud of you Cara for speaking out. It takes a North Dakotan to change this Thank you

  • Susan says:

    My heart is hurting for you Cara. Shame on these two women and anyone else involved for causing you so much heartache at a time when you should be having one of the greatest experiences of your life. To earn such a title is unimaginable. A dream that every girl would have.
    I was saddened to read how you were treated with the horrible comments made about your attire. You should have been given new clothing from EVERY designer in America. And to have to pay towards a plane ticket to an event is just awful. Karma is not good! Paybacks aren’t either.
    I pray you are given the opportunity to show how great you really are!👑🌟✨

  • Pam Lindemann says:

    I believe everything Cara is informing us about. It is believable. It is time for ALL abuses and bullying to stop!

  • Carol J Boucher says:

    I lost all respect for Gretchen Carlson and the MAO organization. Pure power struggle or control, Gretchen wants control and demean any present and future Miss American. She is a true BULLY!

  • Misty Briggs says:

    This is disgusting. Gretchen still wants to be Miss America and Regina wants to be Trump. Should be reorganized to better reflect want the pageant has stood for for many years. These obvious bullies need to go. I wonder what the whole story is with other Miss America’s. Should be interesting if others are willing to stand up and be heard.

  • Jenny waslaski says:

    I am devistated by this behavior, I can’t understand how they get away with there rude acts of demeaning, under minding tactics they have gone to. Cara blow the whistle on those underminding want-a-bes. What goes around comes around and it’s time for it to take the door and hit them on the way out. I am so sorry that you have been treated so unfairly. Please don’t allow them to get away with this, we believe in your amazing character and want the world to hear your voice and opinion on so much!