Nobel Prize for Literature Postponed Because of Sexual Abuse Allegations


Entertainment, politics, sports, the military – the viral #MeToo movement has touched a myriad of industries and organizations, exposing perpetrators of sexual misconduct through the candid testimony of victims.

In the spirit of this campaign, the organization behind the prestigious Nobel Prize in Literature, the Stockholm-based Swedish Academy, will not award that prize this year for the first time since World War II. 

A scandal involving allegations of sexual harassment, along with evidence that women were taking the blame for the offenses of men and the subsequent departure of board members has caused the King of Sweden to intervene. 

History of Sexual Assault and Harassment Linked to the Swedish Academy

Last November, a Swedish newspaper reported that 18 women had accused a French photographer, Jean-Claude Arnault, of sexual assault or harassment. The link to the Nobel Prize is that the accused also runs a popular cultural Stockholm venue that receives support from the Academy. The sexual misconduct occurred over 20 years in properties owned by the Academy in Paris and Stockholm.

The fallout from these revelations included the forcing out of the first woman to lead the Swedish Academy after she severed the ties between the Academy and Mr. Arnault and his businesses. Many view her departure as an example of a woman taking a fall for a man’s misconduct. Three other Academy members also left over the handling of the assault and harassment allegations.

2018 Nobel Prize in Literature Will Not Be Awarded This Year

With only 10 members remaining, the Academy could have chosen a Nobel literature laureate with the required 8 votes, but the credibility of the Prize and the institution itself would be at risk. Therefore, the only possible decision was postponing the 2018 Prize. This year’s Prize may be awarded next year along with the 2019 Prize when the Academy has sorted itself out and fortified its membership.

The decision to hold off on awarding this year’s prize in literature does not affect Nobel Prizes in other disciplines such as economics, chemistry and medicine. 

The disruption of this influential, historic Prize is another very visible example of the global reach of the #MeToo movement. No industry, business, non-profit group or arts organization can be exempt from justice for those who have been harmed by sexual abuse, sexual assault or sexual harassment.

Let Us Know If You Have Been the Victim of Sexual Misconduct

If you or a family member has experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment of any kind or has been injured in an accident or by any other type of personal injury, or needs help with any employment discrimination or family law issue, please contact the Law Offices of Paul S. Foreman, P.C. immediately. We have the right experience to get the optimal results for your case. Please call us for a free consultationAttorney Paul S. Foreman, personal injury attorney in Livingston, will fight to secure justice for you and your family. You can reach us at 973-315-3232 or contact us via the website.