LAS VEGAS (CAP) - Entertainer Harry Belafonte, one of the Miss America Pageant's harshest critics, compared the judge's panel to the Nazi Gestapo and attacked host James Denton as a liar.
"We've come to this dark time in which Leeza Gibbons is to help choose the sexiest American woman?" Belafonte said in a speech in the lobby of the Belagio hotel. "Is it any wonder TV ratings have fallen off the map?"
The Harlem-born Belafonte, who was raised in Jamaica, said his activism was inspired by an impoverished mother "who imbued in me that we should never copulate to magazines."
"You can be an airhead and have no discernable talent," said Belafonte. "But these women have great racks. Let's get a look at them!"
Belafonte's remarks were greeted with a roaring standing ovation from an audience which included former host Tony Danza, and hundreds of people who had no idea the pageant was even in town.
Denton, he said, became host "somewhat dubiously and ... then lies to the people of this nation throughout the entire telecast," said Belafonte. "You know damn well all he could think about was getting into every girl's pants.
"Especially Miss California," added Belafonte. "She was hot."
- CAP News Staff