Pulitzer Prize board investigates chairman over misconduct allegations

(CNN) – The Pulitzer Prize Board is investigating author Junot Díaz over allegations of misconduct, it said in a statement Friday.

Diaz welcomed the independent review and stepped down as the board’s chairman, the statement said, although he will remain on the board, which chooses the winners of the literary and journalism prize.

Diaz is a famed author who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for fiction for his novel “The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.” Last month, The New Yorker published an essay written by Díaz in which the author wrote for the first time about being raped as a child.

Several female authors have come forward recently with accusations of misconduct and verbal abuse, prompting some booksellers to remove his works from their shelves and sparking a broader conversation about how the literary world will handle its latest #MeToo moment.

CNN has unable to verify the allegations made against Díaz. The author has previously released a statement through his literary agent, in which he said, “I take responsibility for my past,” without addressing any allegation specifically.

“That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath,” Díaz’s statement said. “This conversation is important and must continue. I am listening to and learning from women’s stories in this essential and overdue cultural movement. We must continue to teach all men about consent and boundaries.”

CNN emailed Díaz Thursday seeking comment on the news that he stepped down as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize Board and is yet to receive a response.

He’ll be replaced on a temporary basis by Eugene Robinson, the board’s previous chairman, according to the statement.

This year’s Nobel Prize in Literature was postponed due to a sexual and financial scandal that engulfed the institution responsible for handing out the award.

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