NEW YORK—In response to the protests outside the Met Breuer stemming from a photography exhibition whose creator is accused of sexual assault, PEN America Executive Director Suzanne Nossel issued the following statement: 

“The cooperation between the Met Breuer and protest performance group headed by Jaishri Abichandani offers a commendable example for art institutions everywhere facing challenges to controversial works and exhibitions on display in their galleries.

The demonstrators, at the Met Breuer to protest a photography retrospective by an artist Abichandani has publicly claimed sexually assaulted her, merit applause for working with the museum to broadcast their message to its audiences non-violently and with respect for the museum’s commitment to artistic freedom. By facilitating and supporting the demonstrators, the Met Breuer has upheld freedom of expression and preserved open discourse by creating an opportunity for audiences to come to their own conclusions regarding the work and its creator.”


PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect open expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.

Anoosh Gasparian, External Relations Coordinator: [email protected], +1.646.981.0685