CULTURE & ARTS

MIT Clears Author Junot Díaz After Sexual Misconduct Investigation

The Pulitzer Prize-winning author was accused by four women, including one who alleged he forcibly kissed her.
Junot Díaz in Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2014. 
Junot Díaz in Berlin, Germany, on Sept. 13, 2014. 

MIT has cleared professor and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz after a month-long investigation into misconduct allegations.

“To date, MIT has not found or received information that would lead us to take any action to restrict Professor Díaz in his role as an MIT faculty member, and we expect him to teach next academic year, as scheduled,” the university said Monday in a statement

At least four female authors accused Díaz of abusive or misogynistic behavior, with one alleging he physically assaulted her. Novelist Zinzi Clemmons tweeted in early May that Díaz “forcibly kissed her” when she was a graduate student. Three other women said he verbally abused them.

“I’m far from the only one he’s done this 2, I refuse to be silent anymore,” Clemmons tweeted.

The allegations emerged after Díaz wrote in an essay published in April in The New Yorker revealed he had been sexually assaulted as a child.

Díaz’s agent Nicole Aragi told The Boston Globe she was pleased that MIT exonerated her client. 

“I expected no less and I’m expecting positive outcomes from any inquiries that test the allegations,” Aragi said. 

Díaz, who won the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for fiction with his novel The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, did not immediately answer HuffPost’s request for comment. He responded to the accusations in a statement to The New York Times in May. 

“I take responsibility for my past. That is the reason I made the decision to tell the truth of my rape and its damaging aftermath,” he wrote. “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.” 

Earlier this month, three Boston Review editors resigned in protest after the literary magazine decided to keep Díaz on the staff despite the allegations. In May, Díaz stepped down from his role as chairman of the Pulitzer Prize board.

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