(HOLLYWOOD REPORTER) -- Gretchen Carlson, a former Miss America who now serves as chairwoman of the organization's board of directors, on Sunday responded to claims by current Miss America Cara Mund that she has been bullied, manipulated and silenced by the pageant's current leadership, including Carlson and CEO Regina Hopper.
In a letter sent Friday to former Miss Americas, Mund said she decided to speak out despite the risk of punishment.
"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," Mund wrote. "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."
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