Booker Prize clarifies comment fans found “patronizing and obnoxious.”

Booker Prize has clarified a previous comment made during the foundation’s recent livestream, which fans found “disgusting and patronizing”.

During the announcement of the Booker Prize shortlist on Wednesday (September 7), the director of the foundation, Gaby Wood, made a remark to one of the book clubs in attendance and said with a laugh: “And I suppose you have a dinner lady and a steel worker under your belt you evening… and a man?! Much rarer!”

After the live stream, a now-defunct Twitter account shared the clip of Wood’s comment, and many angry fans were quick to respond.

“Oh hahaha, working class people read, how fun. Imagine that, a table lady discussing literature!” commented one.

“It’s just so sad. Why are people so elitist and reading!” a second added.

“The tweet was deleted but the damage is done,” wrote a third. “To see a Booker Prize judge giggle and mock the fact that a table lady and a steel worker attended a book club is condescending and disgusting.”

“Looks like @TheBookerPrizes deleted the clip. Understandable. Be good if they think about it too,” one suggested. “Like all organizations in this industry, they should be able to handle some criticism.”

Well, in a new statement provided The IndependentClarifying her comments, Wood said: “The book clubs participating in a new Booker Prize initiative were congratulated on their presence. Reference was made to the locations and occupations of the participants to give an impression of the groups.

“We regret the impetus caused by what was intended as a celebration of the shared joy of reading.”

Booker Prize Twitter screenshot

(ilexreads/ Twitter screenshot)

In response to the confusion surrounding the deletion of an account that shared a clip of the comments, the organization said: “The tweet referred to was not from The Booker Prize account.

“The user who tweeted a clip from the live stream that we weren’t in touch with appears to have deleted their account,” they added.

“The person incorrectly referred to as a judge in the thread is not a judge but Gaby Wood, Director of the Booker Prize Foundation. We have not deleted any tweets.”

The 2022 Booker Prize shortlist was announced earlier at the event, revealing six authors from five different nationalities and four continents.

The 2022 winner will be announced in a ceremony at the Roundhouse, London on October 17. For the first time since 2019, the event will take place entirely in person. Booker Prize clarifies comment fans found “patronizing and obnoxious.”


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