Deeply Misguided #MeToo Joke Causes Uproar in Miss Massachusetts Pageant

Boston Magazine

July 9, 2018

By Spencer Buell

Maude Gorman has ditched her Miss Plymouth County title in protest after a dumb joke about the movement at a pageant.

I guess we should have expected that the #MeToo movement’s success over the past year would prompt powerful people and institutions to start lashing out and belittling the movement with boneheaded jokes, and that’s what has apparently gone down at the Miss Massachusetts pageant.

Maude Gorman, a former Miss Plymouth County, attracted national attention this weekend after she announced that she would hand in her crown in protest of a tone-deaf joke about #MeToo in a skit during the June 30 Miss America event. In the skit in question, the pageant’s host plays the role of someone telling God she is confused as to why the pageant will no longer include a swimsuit competition, to which a man playing God responds, “Me too,” and holds up two signs reading, “#MeToo.” Video of the performance, which elicited cheers from the crowd but prompted an immediate backlash, can be found on the Observer’s website.

The 24-year-old Gorman, a rape survivor, shared the rationale behind her decision on Instagram. “As both a survivor, and advocate for victims rights and sexual violence on a whole, I refuse to stand idly by and simply ‘let this go,’” she wrote. “Instead, I will stand up for every individual who has ever had the courage to speak out; and for every person who felt liberated by the #metoo movement.”

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