This year’s Pulitzer Prize winners, announced today, include journalists who exposed the abuse of women and helped bring down an anti-LGBT U.S. Senate candidate, plus a gay novelist and gay poet.
The New York Times and The New Yorker shared the Pulitzer for public service journalism for their reporting “that exposed powerful and wealthy sexual predators, including allegations against one of Hollywood’s most influential producers [Harvey Weinstein], bringing them to account for long-suppressed allegations of coercion, brutality and victim silencing, thus spurring a worldwide reckoning about sexual abuse of women,” reads the Pulitzer website. Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey led the Times’ reporting, while Ronan Farrow, who recently confirmed he was “part of the LGBT community,” did the coverage for The New Yorker.
The staff of The Washington Post won the prize for investigative reporting for stories that revealed allegations of sexual predation by Roy Moore, the deeply homophobic former chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who last year ran for the U.S. Senate in a special election. Moore was accused of preying on girls as young as 14. The Post’s coverage “changed the course” of the race, notes the Pulitzer site. Moore, a Republican who was initially heavily favored in the conservative state, lost to Democrat Doug Jones.
John Archibald of the Alabama Media Group took the commentary prize, with Pulitzer officials calling his work “lyrical and courageous commentary that is rooted in Alabama but has a national resonance in scrutinizing corrupt politicians, championing the rights of women and calling out hypocrisy.” Some of his columns in the past year dealt with Moore. His work appears in the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times, Mobile's Press-Register, and AL.com and its social media brand, Reckon.
Andrew Sean Greer, who is gay, won the Pulitzer for fiction with his novel Less, about Arthur Less, a middle-aged gay man and failed novelist who seeks to escape his problems by traveling around the world. Less is “a generous book, musical in its prose and expansive in its structure and range, about growing older and the essential nature of love,” according to Pulitzer officials.
Another gay author, Frank Bidart, received the prize for poetry with Half-light: Collected Poems 1965-2016. The Pulitzer website describes it as “a volume of unyielding ambition and remarkable scope that mixes long dramatic poems with short elliptical lyrics, building on classical mythology and reinventing forms of desires that defy societal norms.”
Several other Pulitzer winners, both in journalism and the arts, addressed social issues, including racism, poverty, ethnic cleansing, and immigration. And hip-hop artist Kendrick Lamar became the first musician outside the classical or jazz genres to with the music prize, with his album DAMN. See the full list here.