#MeToo Movement Results in Unprecedented Delay of Nobel Prize for Literature

  • #MeToo Movement Results in Unprecedented Delay of Nobel Prize for Literature

#MeToo Movement Results in Unprecedented Delay of Nobel Prize for Literature

It said the 2018 prize will be given in 2019.

Swedish Academy member Katarina Frostenson and her husband Jean-Claude Arnault arrive for the Kings Nobel dinner at the Royal Palace in Stockholm on December 11, 2001.

The academy says it will now announce the 2018 victor along with the 2019 victor next year.

Previously, the biggest public scandal the Academy had faced was failing to publicly support Salman Rushdie, the novelist who received death threats over his book The Satanic Verses - small fry by comparison, considering that greater and more moralistic bodies than the Academy, including the Church of England, went so far as to blame Mr. Rushdie for having incurred the wrath of (and a fatwa from) Iran's then-Ayatollah Khomeini. The Academy - reportedly marking its first year since WWII not giving out the award - will instead push the prize to 2019, when it will dole out two. No worthy victor was found in 1935.

Although this is the first postponement in 68 years, postponing or cancelling the prize is not unheard of.

What did the academy say?

The group's permanent secretary, Anders Olsson, added that, "We find it necessary to commit time to recovering public confidence in the academy before the next laureate can be announced".

Besides the right to resign, procedures for handling conflicts of interest and secret information would be strengthened while its external communication would also be modernised, it said in a statement.

"Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize", the Foundation said in statement. It would have been hard for potential winners to accept the prize with the academy in such turmoil.

The Swedish Academy has postponed this year's Nobel Literature Prize for the first time in nearly 70 years as it is rocked by turmoil over links to French photographer Jean-Claude Arnault accused of assault by 18 women.

A number of of the alleged incidents reportedly occurred in properties belonging to the high-profile organisation.

Arnault's attorney Björn Hurtig says that his client denies all the allegations, arguing he's become "the victim of a witch hunt" and that they "may have been made with the sole objective of harming" him, according to The Guardian.

Arnault, along with his wife, runs a cultural forum in Sweden that receives funds from the Academy, which cut all ties with him and began an investigation after the claims surfaced.

And if all these slurs were not enough there are rumours that an academy member regularly leaked the names of Nobel literature winners.

What followed was a wave of resignations, including Ms Frostenson and the head of the academy, Prof Sara Danius.

A reform of the organization will soon allow members to leave voluntarily, so that they can be replaced by successors. Of those, one, Kerstin Ekman, has been inactive since 1989, when the academy refused to condemn the fatwa issued over Salman Rushdie's The Satanic Verses.

In a press release issued on Friday, the Swedish Academy said the work on the selection of a laureate is at an advanced stage and that the academy needs time to "regain confidence in its work, before the next Literature Prize victor is declared".