Earlier today, the co-directors of the Miss California pageant - Keith Lewis and Shanna Moakler - read statements and answered questions from the media regarding the recent Carrie Prejean hullabaloo.
A couple staff members from The Hollywood Gossip were in attendance; and while we'll get to the confusing details in a moment, here are the main points to take away from the press conference:
- Tami Farrell has been installed as the new Miss California Ambassador/Replacement for Prejean Regardless of What Donald Trump Decides Tomorrow.
- Lewis and Moakler are really, really mad at Prejean.
The event began with Lewis reading a statement, during which he said Miss California officials played no role in choosing the judges for Miss USA, nor did they have any indication that Perez Hilton would ask Prejean about gay marriage.
Basically, he distanced the state pageant, and all subsequent remarks about Carrie, from her controversial beliefs.
Next, Lewis went to town on the National Organization of Marriage. He said it was a "shame, shame, shame, shame" that an outside organization would help a young woman violate her contract (which called for no interviews or affiliations without permission from Miss California officials).
Lewis blamed the organization for attaching itself to "any glimmer of an ally," with no regard for the effect it would have on that individual's life. He even called out the President of the National Organization of Marriage, Maggie Gallagher, for supposedly, personally pocketing 42% of the donations sent in for her cause.
Lewis and Moakler then introduced a PSA video of various beauty pageant contestants - from Miss Universe 1997 to Miss California USA 2007 - talking about about "believing in love" and in respectfully disagreeing/voicing one's opinion.
It was then time to announce Farrell as the Miss California Ambassador. Lewis emphasized how difficult it's been for the pageant to plan events because Prejean has been out of contact. With Tami in place, the organization can fulfill its vision and no longer be hijacked by Prejean's agenda.
While it was clear Lewis would love to fire Prejean, that decision rests in the hands of the Miss Universe organization and its founder, Donald Trump. Regardless of Trump's decision tomorrow, Lewis said Farrell would fill in for Prejean at any appearance she can't make.
Both Lewis and Moakler expressed shock and anger over how impossible it was to reach Prejean. She has a team of handlers and lawyers, they said, something no prior pageant winner had ever called for. Moakler also noted that Carrie' platform of "protecting marriage" was not something ever discussed leading up to Miss California.
In the end, Lewis said her beliefs were not the issue at hand. Rather, the turning point came when Prejean moved forward with various media interviews, even though her message was clearly divisive. You can't wear a title that says you represent everyone, Lewis said, yet go out of your way to be so polarizing.
Also, as he continually pressed, he can't contact Carrie! She's the state pageant winner and has refused to appear at - or even acknowledge - a series of Miss California events. That's a problem.
There's no difference between Carrie Prejean and Miss California USA, Moakler said. This is something Carrie has to learn, as she signed a contract that stipulated a set of obligations, all of which she is now ignoring.
So... will Trump fire Prejean tomorrow? His press conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. EST. We'll have a full recap of it soon after it airs.
For now, weigh in once again: Should Prejean lose her crown?