Pulitzer Board Investigates Junot Diaz Over Sexual Misconduct Accusation

Author Zinzi Clemmons recently accused Díaz of cornering and forcibly kissing her while she was a grad student

The Pulitzer Prize Board said Thursday that Junot Díaz has relinquished his role as chairman of its board in the wake of the organization’s review of sexual misconduct allegations against the author.

In a statement issued on its site, the board said it “authorized an independent review of allegations of misconduct against one of its members, Junot Díaz. Mr. Díaz said he welcomed the review and would cooperate fully with it. Mr. Díaz was elected incoming chairman at the board’s April meeting, as is customary for the senior member of the board. He has asked to relinquish this role, and the board has accepted his request. Mr. Díaz remains on the board.”

Last week, author Zinzi Clemmons accused Díaz of cornering and forcibly kissing her while she was a grad student.

“As a grad student, I invited Junot Diaz to speak to a workshop on issues of representation in literature,” Clemmons, author of “What We Lose,” wrote on Twitter. “I was an unknown wide-eyed 26 yo, and he used it as an opportunity to corner and forcibly kiss me. I’m far from the only one he’s done this 2, I refuse to be silent anymore.”

Díaz did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Eugene Robinson, the board’s former chairman, has resumed the chairmanship “on a short-term, interim basis,” according to the statement from Pulitzer Prize Board.