Photo: Wikimedia/ Christopher Peterson

Junot Díaz Is Reinstated On Pulitzer Prize Board After Investigation

In May, author Junot Díaz stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board after several allegations were brought up against him. At least three female writers accused Díaz of sexual misconduct that included forcefully kissing, misogynistic verbal abuse, and harassment. The Pulitzer Prize board conducted an investigation through a law firm, which found that their review “did not find evidence warranting removal of Professor Díaz from the Board.” He has now been officially reinstated as a Pulitzer Prize board member.

“Following public allegations regarding Professor Junot Díaz, the Pulitzer Prize Board determined to conduct a thorough, wide-ranging, fair, and independent review of the matter that would follow the facts wherever they might lead,” the statement said. “Accordingly, the Board retained the Washington, D.C. law firm of Williams & Connolly to conduct an independent review. Professor Díaz voluntarily recused from the review process. Williams & Connolly conducted an exhaustive review that lasted five months, involved interviews with dozens of witnesses and analysis of hundreds of pages of documents (as well as audiotapes, where available), and examined the steps taken by other relevant institutions to investigate this matter. The review did not find evidence warranting removal of Professor Díaz from the Board. Accordingly, after full discussion and consideration by the members, Professor Díaz will be welcomed to resume his full duties as a Board member and to fulfill his term, which expires in April of 2019.”

In response to the board’s decision, Díaz’s publicist, Nicole Aragi, released the following statement, according to the New York Times. Díaz said that he “welcomed the Pulitzer’s independent investigation and was heartened by its thoroughness and determination to run down every detail,” adding that “I am grateful the investigation found the truth,” the statement said. “I look forward to returning to the Pulitzer’s important work.”

In June, Díaz was also cleared by his employer at MIT.