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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2372

Unwanted Intimacy: Weinstein Phenomenon haunts Nobel Body

Hemantha Abeywardena writes from London…

The movement that began as #Metoo, involving female stars in the showbiz industry, who had been at the mercy of predatory top men in the field, shows no sign of abating. On the contrary, it is gathering momentum, leaving no organization being immune to the reach of its highly-agile tentacles.

On Friday, the news spread from a source where you least expect the existence of Weinstein phenomenon – a Nobel body, that by its very definition, promotes all sorts of virtues.

The Swedish body that hands out Nobel Prize in Literature, did not admit they had their own Weinstein in their midst. Nor did they announce the black sheep in the secretive 18-member board.

Instead, an investigation team that conducted an investigation into the alleged sexual misconduct by some members of the body, summarized the findings, while coining the term, unwanted intimacy, exposing the bizarre, short, phrase to plethora of interpretations.

This form of Intimacy in the Nobel body in question may be unwanted, but the Swedish public figures wanted answers – and fast; they include the king, prime minister and of course, the main Nobel body.

Since the scandal broke out, six members have already left their posts. The departure Sara Danius, the permanent secretary of the body, on April 12 was the most significant, leaving the body headless – before the King intervened to make the body functional.

The investigation into sexual misconduct had been launched, following the accusation by 18 women against a prominent Swedish cultural figure: Jean-Claude Arnolt, the man in question, is the husband of Katarin Frostenson, an academy member, who quit her post too.

Not only has the initial investigation shed light on the sexual abuse in the body, but also exposed the few other thing that are not noble – the alleged leaking of the winners to the media, misuse of funds patriarchal leanings of certain members. In short, a can of worms has been opened.

The crisis has reached the critical point; the fact that thousands of protesters gathered outside the Swedish Academy shows the fact the members of the Swedish public are not prepared to give authorities an opportunity to sweep things under the carpet on patriotic grounds.

More often than not, the way some awards of Nobel prizes have always been controversial; Nobel peace prize is a case in point. In this context, the Swedish authorities did not want it to attract more bad news that could potentially tarnish the entire Nobel body in the long run.

All in all, the real fans of Nobel prize will see more heads rolling in the coming months, when the investigation reports land on the tables of public prosecutors.

- Asian Tribune -

Unwanted Intimacy: Weinstein Phenomenon haunts Nobel Body
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