April 30th, 2015
Episode 178 of 559 episodes
The decision by PEN to award its annual Freedom of Expression Courage award to French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo has led to controversy among prominent authors. Authors including Peter Carey, Michael Ondaatje and Rachel Kushner said there is a critical difference between supporting expression that violates the acceptable, which Charlie Hebdo does, and enthusiastically rewarding such expression. They support Charlie Hebdo's right to offend, but not giving it a prize for so doing. Other authors such as Salman Rushdie have criticised the boycott saying "it is quite right that PEN should honour Charlie Hebdo's sacrifice and condemn their murder without these disgusting 'buts'.