Every award ceremony has its favourites. Very rarely celebrity events go without tear-shedding speeches, fabulous dresses and scandalous moments. There are plenty of viral moments which get millions of views on Youtube. Nevertheless, some of the winners make the public raise an eyebrow.
Pulitzer prize – Walter Duranty (1931)
Journalism and literature are generally the areas that you don’t expect anything extraordinary to happen, however in 1931 Pulitzer Prize winner journalist Walter Duranty was considered extremely controversial. Thirteen articles he wrote for The New York Times about the USSR under Joseph Stalin were excusing genocide attempts by comparing it to a lesser evil. The Pulitzer Board raised the question of revoking the award several times but never proceeded as this would damage the New York Times reputation.
Nobel Peace Prize – Barack Obama (2009)
The prize was unexpected both by Obama and the global community as he has just started his first term and hadn’t yet made any major changes in economy or politics. The nomination was considered politically motivated and was criticized. Some time later someone from the Nobel Prize Board admitted that the award was given to strengthen Obama’s position and had high expectations which weren’t met.
Oscar – Shakespeare in Love (1998)
Shakespeare in Love was a major let down in the 1998 Oscars. Saving Private Ryan was the film to win the Best Picture, however, Steven Spielberg had already won an award for another war film – Schindler’s List back in 1994. Producer Harvey Weinstein heavily invested in building up the movie for the awards and as a result the voters have approved it.