Sweden's Nobel academy will skip the literature prize this year amid a sexual misconduct scandal

The Swedish Academy, beset by scandal
(Image credit: Fredrik Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images)

The Swedish Academy announced Friday that it will not award the Nobel Prize in literature this year, but rather announce the 2018 winner next year, "in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate," citing a desire to "safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize" amid a sexual harassment scandal that has thrown the literature academy into chaos. "The crisis in the Swedish Academy has adversely affected the Nobel Prize," the academy said in a statement. "Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation." The 18-member committee, minus the seven who have suspended their lifetime membership, made the decision in a meeting Thursday.

The scandal centers around photographer Jean-Claude Arnault, a major Swedish cultural figure who is accused of sexually assaulting or harassing 18 women, leaking the name of at least seven laureates, and, Sweden's Svenska Dagbladet newspaper reported last Saturday, groping Sweden's Crown Princess Victoria in 2006. Arnault, who denies the allegations, is married to poet Katarina Frostenson, a member of the academy who was removed after the 18 allegations of sexual misconduct, many tied to the Swedish Academy building, surfaced last November. The secretive academy has faced criticism for its handling of the allegations.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.