The Swedish Academy and #metoo
Posted on december 5, 2017
The Swedish Academy was founded in 1786. It is a famous institution, awarding the Nobel Prize in Literature since 1901.
As a swede, and as a person who loves culture, it is sad to read about the links between the Academy and the so-called “Club” (which is not its real name) and a person, called ”The Cultural Profile” who has been accused of sexual harassment and rape during the #metoo movement. 18 women accused in Dagens Nyheter the artistic director of the Club of sexual harassment over many years. Some of these women used to work at the Club.
The accused man is married to a female writer and member of the Academy, and the couple have been the owners of the Club, a legendary scene for literary readings and other cultural events.
The Club has been financed from public funds, and The Swedish Academy was one of the funding organizations. It has been said that members of the Academy called the Club “their living room” (Dagens Nyheter 22.11).
The Swedish Academy told the press already some week ago that they had decided to cut all ties with the accused man. However, I think they still need to answer some questions. Is it true that the work done by these young women was undeclared? How come the Academy didn´t pay attention? Should public funds go to a work-place with undeclared – and probably underpaid – work?
And is it true, that the woman linked to the Academy was aware of the conduct of her husband a long time ago, but did nothing to stop him? Did the Academy know?
Finally, yesterday we got to know through Swedish state television (SVT) that ”The Cultural Profile” also has leaked the names of future Nobel Prize Winners (SVT 4.12). How is that possible?
Many questions. So far, nothing but silence from the Academy about the questions linked to this – I have to say the word – scandal. It takes a long time to build up respect and confidence – but it takes only days to erase it. Hurry up, Swedish Academy.