Cross Gretchen Carlson and Regina Hopper at your peril, apparently. As individual states called for the two leaders of the Miss America Organization to step down in advance of last month's pageant, little was said by the women, who act as the chairwoman and CEO, respectively. Now, action: Four states have had their licenses terminated by the organization in what the AP calls a "purge of rebellious state officials." Those states—Georgia, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, and one undisclosed one—will have to relinquish any bank accounts containing scholarship money and install new leadership, and they cannot publicize any affiliation with the national organization.
But they're not necessarily out for good, per Deadline: They can request an appeal hearing in front of Miss America's executive committee. They're also not exactly alone. An estimated 15 states have been threatened with probation and asked to detail, in writing, the motivation for their actions. All but five state pageant organizations had called on Carlson and Hopper to resign, and the Miss America Organization would not elaborate on why this particular group of states was targeted beyond calling the entire licensing process "confidential." The drama first emerged with an open letter from Miss America 2017 Cara Mund, who accused Carlson and Hopper of bullying her. Read more on Mund's accusations here. (More Miss America stories.)