There will be no Nobel Literature Prize awarded this year, the Swedish Academy said Friday, as the organization attempts to regroup from an ongoing scandal.
The academy said it would name the 2018 laureate “in parallel with the naming of the 2019 laureate.”
The decision was made due to the “currently diminished academy and the reduced public confidence in the academy,” a statement read.
The academy said it has since 1901 on seven occasions “reserved” the prize, most recently in 1949. On five occasions, the prize was awarded at the same time as the following year’s prize.
The academy’s announcement was made after a deep rift emerged in early April about how to handle allegations raised against one of the academy’s members, poet Katarina Frostenson, and her husband, Jean-Claude Arnault.
A law firm was commissioned in November to investigate sexual harassment allegations by 18 women against Arnault. He denies the allegations.
Frostenson was also alleged to have violated the academy’s conflict-of-interest rules by failing to disclose she was co-owner of a performance venue run by her husband, which formerly received funding from the academy.
After a vote to exclude Frostenson failed, several members have stepped aside or formally requested to resign.
Eight of the 18 members are no longer active, including Sara Danius, the first woman to head the academy since 1786.
The Nobel Foundation said on Friday it supported the Swedish Academy’s decision to postpone naming a Nobel literature laureate in 2018.
“Their decision underscores the seriousness of the situation and will help safeguard the long-term reputation of the Nobel Prize,” said the foundation.
The foundation manages the assets endowed by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, who created the literature prize and other awards in science and peace. It is also tasked with ensuring the “standing” of the Nobel awards.