By Mirembe Martina
Miss America contestant, Ericka Dunlap who was also Miss America 2004 is seeking an apology from the organizers of the beauty pageant after one of the producers acted racist towards her.
Ms. Dunlap who first won Miss Florida in 2003 and was the first black woman to win the title said a producer who was clearly racist moved her because she was black and although she is not suing them, all she wants is an apology from the organization.
Narrating, the ordeal, Dunlap said, “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.’” She said she refused to move from the seat because, “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.”
But, according to Dunlap, the producer did not give up. He allegedly went back and came back with some reinforcements after he came back with an assistant producer who helped the producer physically remove her from her seat. “I was mortified.” Dunlap says.
A representative for the Miss America organization says the story is not true. “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. 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.”