Several former contestants of the Mrs. America beauty pageant have accused the co-founder of racial bias, including using the n-word, and suggesting that Black men are “drug dealers” and “Black women need to stop having babies with four baby daddies.”
During a news conference Monday, four 2018 Mrs. America contestants appeared with women’s rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and accused David Marmel, the pageant’s executive director, of making racially charged remarks during a pre-pageant event in Las Vegas last year.
In that conversation, Marmel allegedly used the n-word at least twice, the women claimed. When discussing the owners of Ebony magazine, who Marmel claimed to know, he described them as “the most racist people he ever met because they all used the term n****r freely with each other,” NBC News reported, quoting the contestants.
Brandy Palacios, the current Mrs. Missouri, claimed Marmel then put his arm next to hers “in order to compare skin color.”
According to the women, Marmel said in the same conversation that “Black women need to stop having babies with four baby daddies and all Black men are in jail because they need to stop selling drugs and killing each other.”
Crissy Timpson, the current Mrs. New Jersey, said she heard Marmel make offensive comments before the Las Vegas event. A few days before the event, Marmel and Timpson had a conversation wherein Marmel criticized Colin Kaepernick, calling him an “a**hole who ... needs to stop disrespecting my flag.”
When Timpson countered that she did not think Kaepernick was disrespecting the flag, “David changed the subject and said, ‘Well, you people need to stop killing each other, we need people to bring up the Black community,’” she recalled, according to The Guardian.
Marmel called Timpson’s allegations “bulls**t.”
Although the women made the allegations during a press conference, Allred said the four contestants ― Timpson, Brandy Palacios, Kimberly Phillips and Jeri Ward ― had “no plans” to file a lawsuit.
Instead, the women were seeking an apology from Marmel and want him to undergo sensitivity training focused on the issues of racial bias and stereotypes.
″[The four women] feel it is their duty to share what they allege was their experience because they do not want next year’s contestants to be subjected to what they consider to be racially offensive and demeaning comments which have hurt them and caused them so much pain,” said Allred, according to the Associated Press.
(Photo: ABC 7 New York)