Vanessa Williams’ Miss America scandal turned into TV series

The 1st African American Miss America winner was forced to give up her crown after ‘Penthouse’ magazine scandal
Vanessa Williams' Miss America scandal turned into TV series
Photo credit: @vwofficial via Instagram

Multifaceted movie and music maven Vanessa Williams created waves on several fronts back in the early 1980s when she became the first Black woman to win the Miss America pageant.

A quadrant of America was highly offended that this so-called interloper came in and took the crown from their exclusively homogenous pageantry.

More consequential, however, was the fact that Williams was excoriated and forced to give up her crown once nude photos were published by Penthouse magazine without her permission.

Williams later recovered to achieve stardom in both the music and movie space with The Right Stuff and Comfort Zone albums and movies like Soul Food and Johnson Family Vacation. However, the trauma still lingers from the debacle and Williams is grateful for the opportunity to explain what really happened as well as dispel the misinformation.

“This project is incredibly personal to me,” Williams told Deadline magazine. “There are so many inaccurate and untrue accounts of the events surrounding this period in my life, and as a mother, and as a Black woman, it is important to me that my truth be told and be documented from my perspective. This is not just a story about racy photos, it is about misogyny and racism and I want to shine a light on that for future generations. I was not only able to survive what could have been a career-ending scandal, but rose above it and have achieved a body of work I am extremely proud of.”

No word yet on when the series will air, but it will debut on Sony TV.

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Watch this video
What's new