Contestants accuse Mrs. America pageant CEO of racial bias

NEW YORK (AP) — Four contestants in this year’s Mrs. America pageant are calling for an apology from the pageant’s CEO over accusations he used racial slurs and stereotypes in a conversation.

The four women, three African American and one white, spoke at a news conference Monday in Manhattan with lawyer Gloria Allred.

They accuse David Marmel of using racially biased language at a Las Vegas pageant event in August.

They say at a pre-competition party, Marmel’s comments included saying black women need to stop having so many babies with multiple fathers and that those men were drug dealers and in jail.

Mrs. America organization vice president Shawn Marshall said Marmel used no language that should have been interpreted as offensive, and was speaking to them about his life experiences with the African-American community.

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