For the first time in its 60-year history, the World Press Photo Foundation has revoked a photographer’s invite after it emerged he has been accused of “inappropriate behavior.” His flight, accommodation, and invite to the ceremony and festival were all canceled.
Andrew Quilty had submitted photographs of the aftermath of a bombing in Kabul, which won third place in the Spot News, Stories category. But according to Lars Boering, managing director of the World Press Photo Foundation, Quilty was not at the ceremony in Amsterdam.
The World Press Photo Foundation believes visual journalism needs its community to be united against discrimination and harassment. Our protocol is that when we learn from reliable sources that someone associated with us has allegedly engaged in inappropriate behavior, we take action. Because of our protocol, we called him on April 2 to say he was not welcome at our Awards Show and Festival. We canceled his invitation to the Awards Show, the Festival, and his flight and accommodation.
However, Boering clarified Quilty’s award would not be revoked, on the basis that they don’t have the authority to do so. Given the nature of the contest and all entries being submitted (and awarded) anonymously, the jury was unaware of Quilty’s misconduct when ranking photos. Regardless, Boering insisted they would be “reviewing [their] rules for the 2020 contest.”
Organizers failed to disclose the nature of the accusations. Quilty did respond, though, claming World Press Photo hadn’t disclosed the details of the reports received. He said:
No allegations of inappropriate behavior have been made known to me. As a supporter of my female colleagues and the #MeToo movement, I would frankly and openly address any concerns about my conduct, if raised.