Nobel Prize in Literature cancelled over sexual misconduct scandal
The Nobel Prize in Literature will not be awarded this year, revealed the Swedish Academy on Friday, reports Guardian U.K
The cancellation comes as the organisation responsible for selecting and awarding the prize is dealing with the controversy over its links to a man accused of sexual assault.
For the first time since 1949, the secretive jury that hands out the world’s most prestigious literary award will not unveil a winner this year, instead revealing two winners in 2019. The decision announced at 9 a.m Swedish times following a meeting on Thursday, comes after a string of sexual assault allegations made against the French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, the husband of academy member and poet Katarina Frostenson.
The Swedish Academy said that it took the decision “in view of the currently diminished academy and the reduced public confidence in the academy”.
“The active members of the Swedish Academy are of course fully aware that the present crisis of confidence places high demands on a long-term and robust work for change. We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced. This is out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation, and the general public,” said Anders Olsson, interim permanent secretary of the academy.
After the allegations against Arnault were made public in November, three members of the 18-strong jury that selects the literature laureate resigned in protest over the decision not to expel Frostenson. Arnault was also accused of leaking the names of seven former Nobel winners. He denies both claims.
The decision does not affect the other Nobel prizes, which are awarded separately.