Ericka Dunlap, Miss America 2004, is demanding that the pageant organization apology to her after she claimed that a producer removed her from a prime seat at the competition last week because she is Black, TMZ reports.
Though, the entertainment site adds that she was seating in a no-Miss America zone. Dunlap, the first African-American to win Miss Florida, told TMZ, “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.'”
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Citing the producer’s tone, Dunlap says that she refused to leave. “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.” Dunlap says that the producer called over an assistant producer who helped the first one physically remove her from the seat and relocated her. She doesn’t plan to sue but is demanding an apology.
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The Miss America organization responded to the allegations, saying that Dunlaps’s account 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.”
The rep adds, “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.”