The Swedish Academy has said that there will be no Nobel Prize for Literature this year in lieu of sexual harassment allegations.
Before this, the honour has not been awarded in 1914, 1915, 1918, 1919, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1935, 1936, 1940, 1941, 1942, 1943, 1949. The award was started in 1901.
The basis for the recent crisis is the spur of allegations against by Jean-Claude Arnault, a veteran photographer in the art world. He was very much attached with the Swedish Academy.
What caused further uproar were detailed allegations by 18 women of sexual assault and harassment by him over a period of more than two decades in France, Sweden and at properties owned by the Academy.
These bitter allegations sparked infighting among the Swedish Academy members. Three members of the academy resigned over a delay in an expulsion of Arnault’s wife Katrina Frostenson as a member.
This issue was soon after fortified by Sara Danius, a permanent secretary who raised the matter vehemently. The anger over the sex abuse scandal was a prime cause behind cancelling the year’s award in due course.
The scandal drew a lot of attention. The Swedish Academy which selects the awardees in the field of literature has taken care of everything without any reservation. The Academy’s message is crystal clear.
The prizes were endowed every year on Alfred Nobel’s birthday. Cancelling the prize this year is a tough but necessary step in lieu of what has happened.