The Pulitzer Prize board has launched an independent review of allegations of sexual misconduct by Junot Díaz, who has since announced that he will step down from his position as chairman of that board. Díaz was elected incoming chairman of the board last month.
According to a release issued by Dana Canedy, the new administrator of the Pulitzer Prizes, Díaz "said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it," and asked to step down as chairman. The board has accepted his request, but Díaz remains a member. Eugene Robinson, the board’s most recent chairman, has taken over leadership of the board on an interim basis.
In addition, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where Díaz is employed as a professor, released a statement earlier this week noting that it is looking into "concerns shared on social media regarding Professor Díaz." The MIT statement continued: "Both accusers and the accused have rights and protections within the process we follow—and we strive to protect the privacy of all parties involved."
The allegations against Díaz (who won the Pulitzer Prize for The Brief and Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) surfaced on May 4 on Twitter, and were leveled by authors Zinzi Clemmons, Carmen Maria Machado, and Monica Byrne.