A former Miss America and Miss New Jersey said the public apology Sunday from the Miss America Organization to Vanessa Williams, was "about ratings."
Suzette Charles took the Miss America 1984 title when Williams resigned after nude photos were published in Penthouse magazine. Charles was named runner-up when Williams became the first African-American woman to win the national title in 1983.
Charles, originally of Mays Landing, appeared on Inside Edition Monday to give her reaction to the concession.
"I'm not sure what that was all about," Charles said in the broadcast to correspondent Les Trent. "I have a feeling that it was about ratings. I think that as accomplished as she is and has worked so tirelessly for 32 years to build her career and to provide to America what she was always about, I'm not sure why she needed that apology."
Sunday’s Miss America broadcast pulled in 7.9 million viewers, an increase from last year. I…
Charles said the organization may have been apologizing for reactions after Williams' crowning, and adding rumors swirled about "slurs" hurled at Williams and her family.
Before the main event during Sunday's Miss America pageant at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, organization CEO Sam Haskell apologized on behalf of "today's organization" to Williams and her family.
"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," he said during Sunday's broadcast on ABC.
Though Williams was a major draw for this year's competition, a new Miss America was also crowned: Betty Cantrell, formerly Miss Georgia.