Fans livid over ‘patronising and sickening’ Booker Prize tweet: ‘The damage is done’

Fans livid over ‘patronising and sickening’ Booker Prize tweet: ‘The damage is done’

Fans are “sickened” by a “patronising” video that was apparently tweeted by the official Booker Prize account.

In a now-deleted post, the foundation – which annually awards the best English language novel published in the UK or Ireland – shared a video today (7 September) of a judge apparently giggling over the fact that a steelworker and dining lady were part of a book club.

“‘Apparently we have a dinner lady…’ (laugh, laugh) ‘and a steelworker with us...’(more laughs),” one fan recounted of the video.

While the organisation has since removed the tweet, angry fans were quick to respond to its message, with one writing: “Oh hahaha, working-class people reading, how funny. A dinner lady, discussing literature, imagine that!”

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

“The tweet has been deleted, but the damage is done,” a third commented. “Seeing a Booker Prize judge giggle and pour scorn on the fact that a dinner lady and steelworker had attended a book club is patronising and sickening.”

Another shared: “The tweet doing the rounds about the Booker Prize has disappeared. I don’t know if the account deleted it or if they went private, but it’s gone. Anyway, this reader, author and working-class daughter of a steelworker would like to tell the Booker to get Fookered.”

“Looks like @TheBookerPrizes have deleted the clip. Understandable. Be good if they also reflect on it,” one suggested. “Like all orgs in this industry, they should be able to cope with some criticism.”

Booker Prize Twitter screenshot (ilexreads/ Twitter screenshot)
Booker Prize Twitter screenshot (ilexreads/ Twitter screenshot)

The Independent has contacted Booker Prize for comment.

The Booker Prize 2022 shortlist was announced earlier today, revealing six authors representing five different nationalities and four continents.

The 2022 winner will be announced on 17 October in a ceremony held at the Roundhouse, London. For the first time since 2019, the event will be held fully in person.