Miss America Pageant Apologizes to Vanessa Williams 32 Years After Taking Her Crown


Vanessa Williams and the Miss America Pageant came to a resolution and Vanessa DID receive an apology on-air during tonight’s broadcast.

After being forced to resign as Miss America 32 years ago amid a nude photo scandal, Vanessa Williams received a formal apology from the pageant at the 2016 pageant that aired live on Sunday.

“I have been a close friend to this beautiful and talented lady for 32 years,” Sam Haskell, the executive chairman of the Miss America pageant, said to Williams at the start of Sunday’s broadcast. “You have lived your life in grace and dignity and never was it more evident than during the events of 1984 when you resigned. Though none of us currently in the organization were involved then, on behalf of today’s organization, I want to apologize to you and to your mother, Miss Helen Williams. I want to apologize for anything that was said or done that made you feel any less than the Miss America you are and the Miss America you always will be.”

“Thank you so much. So unexpected, but so beautiful,” Williams said on Sunday night. “I did the best that I could in my reign as Miss America in 1983-84. I, on behalf of my family – my mother in particular – Brian Edwards, who orchestrated this entire thing to bring me back. And your leadership, your integrity, you bring this pageant back to what it ought to be. I love you. I love the girls. I’m so honored to be back.”

Vanessa spent the remainder of the evening serving as the competition’s head judge alongside country music star Brett Eldredge; wife of the famed veteran portrayed in ‘American Sniper’ Taya Kyle; actress Danica McKellar; “Shark Tank” investor Kevin O’Leary; Paralympian Amy Purdy; and Disney Channel star Zendaya.

Vanessa was crowned as Miss America in 1983, becoming the first African-American woman to win the title — however she was forced to resign 10 months after winning the crown when nude photos from her past appeared in Penthouse magazine.

It was long overdue, but we’re happy to see the pageant apologize.

[via The Wrap]

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