Vanessa Williams Miss America, Penthouse movie in the works

Save the breast for last! A limited series biopic about singer, actress and former Miss America Vanessa Williams is in the works, detailing the controversy surrounding her short reign as the face of the famed pageant.

In 1984, Vanessa Williams was crowned Miss America, becoming the first Black woman to do so. In July 1984, just two months before a new Miss America would be crowned, Williams added another first to her reign: becoming the first (and so far only) winner to resign, following Penthouse’s publishing of nude photos. The title was then given to the runner-up, Suzette Charles, who will most certainly never have a movie made about her life. Interestingly, Vanessa Williams later served as judge of the Miss America competition, where she received a public apology from the organization.

Vanessa Williams has been supportive and cooperative of the project, which is set to be produced by Sony Pictures Television. “This project is incredibly personal to me. 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.”

Neil Meron is on board to executive produce; his previous credits include 2002’s Chicago, 2007’s Hairspray and numerous Academy Awards telecasts.

Despite the Miss America/Penthouse controversy, Vanessa Williams went on to a continuously successful career. Williams has received 11 Grammy nominations, three Emmy nods (for Ugly Betty) and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. She also sang “Colors of the Wind” for Pocahontas, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Song.

Source: Deadline

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Mathew is an East Coast-based writer and film aficionado who has been working with JoBlo.com periodically since 2006. When he’s not writing, you can find him on Letterboxd or at a local brewery. If he had the time, he would host the most exhaustive The Wonder Years rewatch podcast in the universe.