The Nobel Prize for literature is the latest casualty of a sexual harassment scandal after the Swedish Academy announced that it would not be handing out a prize this year.
The organization revealed that it had made a decision to delay the 2018 prize until 2019 after being rocked by its own internal scandal. It said that it was in no shape to hand out the award after recent allegations revolving around French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault.
Arnault, who is married to academy member Katarina Frostenson, a poet who also receives financial support from the group. A string of sexual harassment accusations were made against the 71-year old as part of the #metoo campaign and there accusations that members of the academy were aware of the concerns and didn’t report them. A number of members of the academy have left in protest.
It marks the first time since 1943 that the prize has not been handed out. Recent winners include Never Let Me Go author Kazuo Ishiguro and musician Bob Dylan.
“We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the Academy before the next laureate can be announced,” Anders Olsson, the academy’s permanent secretary, said. He added the academy was acting “out of respect for previous and future literature laureates, the Nobel Foundation and the general public.”
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