A former Miss America winner is demanding an apology from her pageant organization for what she feels was a major dis towards her because of her skin color.
Ericka Dunlap, who was crowned Miss America in 2004, says that a producer forced her to give up a seat at the 2013 competition last week because she is black.
Dunlap, who is the first African-American woman to win Miss Florida, told TMZ that the producer who asked her to leave her seat spoke to her aggressively and called for back-up to physically move her out of the chair.
“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.’”
Dunlap refused to move because of the producer’s tone. “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.”
The Miss America Organization has denied the allegations, stating that Dunlap’s recount of what happened is “nonsense.”
“During the night of the telecast, Ericka was unhappy with her seat, and she chose to move to a camera blocked seat that was reserved for the parents of our contestants,” a representative of the organization told TMZ.
“At the top of the show, the stage manager asked her to move to seat the contestant’s parents, and she refused to move. She subsequently was offered a better seat, however she refused it. It was strictly a television production issue.”
Dunlap is reportedly not suing the pageant organization, but is simply requesting an apology.