The controversy that raged last Spring over the award of the Pulitzer Prize to Sidney Kingsley’s “Men in White” had reverberations yesterday when it became known that the Pulitzer Prize Play Committee of last year has declined to serve in the same capacity this year.
The committee, whose members were Austin Strong, Clayton Hamilton and Walter Prichard Eaton, last year selected Maxwell Anderson’s “Mary of Scotland” for the award. Shortly thereafter, they were overruled by the Advisory Board of the School of Journalism who chose the Kingsley play.
In explaining its action the Advisory Board made the statement:
“It has always been understood they (the committee) were retained in an advisory capacity only, and they do not question the right of the Advisory Board of the School of Journalism to exercise its own judgment in making the award.”
Columbia University officials expressed amazement at the news that the committee had resigned. Mr. Hayden, in the office of Secretary Frank D. Fackenthal, explained that the committee had nothing to resign from. He told a Jewish Daily Bulletin reporter that “the committee is appointed for a year and there is nothing in the nature of a hold-over in the appointments. Therefore they had nothing to resign from, having completed their work last spring when they submitted their report to the Advisory Board of the School of Journalism.”
Meanwhile Mr. Kingsley is in Hollywood enjoying the fruits that come the way of a Pulitzer play author. He is a member of the Metro – Goldwyn – Mayer writing staff at a reputedly typical Hollywood salary. In the line of social activities, the Hollywood gossip writers report that he is very often the escort of Sylvia Sydney.