Ericka Dunlap, who won Miss America in 2004 and is one of only seven black women to hold the crown in the past 30 years, claims pageant officials roughed her up and kicked her out of her seat during last week’s show because of her race.
Dunlap, also the first African-American to win the Miss Florida title, says the incident unfolded while the pageant was being televised.
“I was sitting there on the aisle, and during the first commercial break during top 15 announcement, a producer came up to me and said, ‘Get out of that seat. I need the seat. I don’t give a f**k who you are. Get out of the f**king seat.'”
Becuase of the producer’s nasty tone Dunlap said she refused to move. Finally a second producer came over and physically removed her from her seat.
“I was spoken to as if I didn’t matter. If I were any other Miss America, I would have never been spoken to like that. But I’m the only black one who comes back,” she told gossip site TMZ. “I was mortified.”
Now Dunlap wants an apology. But she isn’t getting one.
The pageant organization said Dunlap changed seats on her own and sat in a section of the audience reserved for the parents of contestants. When she was asked to move so parents could be seated all hell broke loose.
“She subsequently was offered a better seat, however she refused it. It was strictly a television production issue,” a spokesman said.
Mallory Hagan, won the title. The Brooklyn resident performed a rousing Vegas showgirl routine and took a tough stand against guns on her way to capturing 92nd Miss America title.