The scandal surrounding Vanessa Williams’ Miss America title is set to be explored in a new limited series. The project will explore the controversial story of why Williams, 59, gave up her historic crown in 1984 after becoming the first Black woman to win the honor.
According to Deadline, Sony Pictures Television has acquired the rights to share how nude photos of Williams were published by Penthouse magazine without her consent, creating adversity in her early career. The actress and singer expressed gratitude for the upcoming television release.
“This project is incredibly personal to me,” expressed Williams. “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.”
She continued “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.”
The project is executive produced by Zadan/Meron Productions’ Meron and Mark Nicholson with Stephen Roseberry and Jon Carrasco of Encore Endeavor 1 (EE1), a wholly owned subsidiary of kathy ireland Worldwide. Hollywood attorney Martin Singer also will serve as executive producer.
“Vanessa morphed from a vulnerable, genius young talent to become one of the world’s most beloved pop culture icons and successful multi-hyphenates in acting, music, dance, and production,” said Kathy Ireland, co-founder of EE1 and founder, chair, and CEO of kathy ireland Worldwide. “Vanessa brings courage to Broadway stages, films, recordings, and television in her endless fight against bigotry of all sorts. Vanessa is bold, brave, and brilliant.”
A title nor release date for the upcoming project has been shared thus far.