Deborah Dugan had only served as Grammys CEO for six months before being suspended. Now, just ten days prior to the awards show airing, she’s airing the Academy out, insisting that it’s a corrupt boy’s club. Why are we not surprised? From CBS News:
filed a discrimination charge against the Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences just days before the Grammy Awards are set to air. Dugan alleges she was being retaliated against for reporting misconduct within the Academy, detailing several explosive claims in the 46-page complaint. Dugan was elevated to the position six months ago and now says she wants to expose the Academy as a “boys’ club” that puts their “financial interest above the Academy’s mission.” She accused them of corrupt voting practices among other issues. Rolling Stone’s senior music business editor Amy X. Wang told CBS News’ Jamie Yuccas: “It says a lot, that basically says the Academy misrepresented itself to the public, to its voting members, and to her when she came in.”
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According to the site, Dugan brings former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow into focus, revealing an artist allegedly accused him of rape…
Some of Dugan’s most damning claims involve former CEO Neil Portnow, who was criticized for his 2018 comments that women who want a bigger role in the music industry need to “step up” in response to the outcry over the lack of female Grammy winners. Portnow later apologized for the remarks. In Dugan’s complaint she said she learned “a foreign recording artist… had accused Mr. Portnow of raping her following a performance that she gave at Carnegie Hall.” Wang said that this particular rape allegation is news to the media industry. “You can bet that it’s going to cast a big shadow over the recording academy for days, if not weeks to come,” she predicted.
Dugan also states that she, herself, has complained about sexual harassment…
The complaint also includes an incident involving Dugan herself, through an email sent to human resources in which she alleges she was sexually harassed by Academy general counsel Joel Katz. Katz’s attorney told Deadline that “Mr. Katz categorically and emphatically denies her version of that evening.” The Academy responded by attacking Dugan’s credibility in a statement, calling it “curious that Ms. Dugan never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally.”
Dugan goes on to state that many artists are shown favoritism throughout the “corrupt” Grammys voting process…
Dugan further alleges that “the Grammy voting process is ripe with corruption,” detailing secret committees the group used to “push forward artists with whom it has relationships.” She said that as many as 30 artists who were not selected by the 12,000 voting members were added to the possible nomination list. The Academy said that it “regrets that music’s biggest night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan’s actions.”
The Academy reportedly claims Dugan was suspended after an investigation into a “female employee’s complaint that she created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and ‘engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct’.” Anyone buying it? Chime in.