Posted on June 24, 2020 at 3:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
UPDATE: The Booker Prize Foundation announced today that it was eliminating all honorary roles and titles, based on public criticism of one particular member’s beliefs, reports The Bookseller.
Emma Nicholson had, since 2009, been an honorary vice president of the group that bestows a prestigious literary prize each year.
But it was only recently that several authors, including Damian Barr and Booker Prize winner Marlon James, became aware of Nicholson’s vote in the British Parliament to oppose same-sex marriage.
That, plus recent tweets from Nicholson that were seen as transphobic and homophobic, caused the authors to seek her removal from the Booker board.
The board, which initially emphasized the honorary nature of Nicholson’s role and the fact that her views were hers and hers only, reversed course.
Its latest statement reads, in part:
"We, the Trustees of the Booker Prize Foundation, met today and wish to reiterate that the views expressed by Baroness Nicholson on transgender people are her own personal opinions. The issues are complex, but our principles are clear. We deplore racism, homophobia and transphobia – and do not discriminate on any grounds.”
Nicholson told the Guardian earlier today that she doesn’t believe her vote constitutes homophobia.
Categories: Today in Books