Suspended Grammys chief Deborah Dugan alleges sexual misconduct in Recording Academy

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The academys president declares unwanted sexual advances, voting corruption and rape coverup within the organisation

Deborah Dugan, the president and president of the Recording Academy, which arranges the Grammy awards, who was suspended recently after a misbehavior accusation , has actually countered with her own 44-page legal grievance 5 days prior to 2020’s awards event. In it, she declares unwanted sexual advances and ballot corruption in the business. Her most major claim is the academy knew claims that her predecessor Neil Portnow , who was president from 2002 to 2019, raped an unnamed female recording artist.

The filing composed by her legal group checks out that after she was worked with, “Ms Dugan was transported into a meeting room and informed– for the extremely very first time– that a foreign recording artist (and member of the academy) had actually implicated Mr Portnow of raping her following an efficiency that she offered at Carnegie Hall. The news existed to Ms Dugan as though the board had actually simply found out of the claims. In truth, they were aware of the claims at the time Ms Dugan accepted handle the CEO position, however never ever informed her.” The accusation of attack was, she was informed, “the genuine factor his agreement was not restored” in 2019. She declares she was however pressed by the then chairman John Poppo to rehire Portnow as an expert with a $750,000 wage.

Former Former Recording Academy president Neil Portnow. Photo: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

At the time, Portnow did not provide factors for stepping down as president, and just stated that he wished to produce a smooth shift for his follower. Completion of his period had actually been greatly ruined by remarks he made in 2018 , in the wake of really couple of female winners at that year’s Grammys, that female creatives required to “step up”if they were to be successful.

Portnow has not yet reacted to the rape accusation. The academy launched a declaration dismissing Dugan’s allegations. It checks out in part:”It wonders that Ms Dugan never ever raised these serious accusations up until a week after legal claims were made versus her personally by a female worker.”

Dugan was put on administrative leave recently, following the accusation of misbehavior. A memo from the interim president to academy members previously today provided additional information, stating Dugan cultivated a”excruciating and hazardous”workplace and was”violent and bullying “. Academy board member Christine Albert informed the New York Times that Dugan’s management design had actually encountered the academy, stating:” What we anticipated was modification without turmoil.”

In Dugan’s filing, she calls the academy’s accusation that she requested for $22m to resign “flat out incorrect”. A more declaration from her legal representative Douglas Wigdor declares she was provided “countless dollars to drop all of this and leave the academy”, and was placed on leave when she declined, and states Dugan “consistently raised issues throughout her whole period at the academy”, not recently following her suspension.

Elsewhere in her legal filing, made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), Dugan declares that she was sexually bothered by home entertainment legal representative Joel Katz, who is basic counsel for the academy. She states he “acted very wrongly” throughout a service supper in May 2019, consistently saying on her physical look and trying to kiss her and “charm her”. Katz’s attorney stated her recollection was “incorrect and Mr Katz unconditionally and absolutely rejects her variation of that night”.

She likewise declares corruption in the academy’s ballot treatments. She offers the example of a tune longlisted for the 2019 tune of the year award, which was ranked 18th location out of 20 tunes by the elections committee, however which nonetheless wound up on the shortlist as the artist behind the tune rested on the committee and was represented by a member of the Grammys board. She declares that the election committees included artists who weren’t chosen by the academy’s ballot swimming pool.

Her problem states that the Grammys board “has actually chosen to shroud the procedure in secrecy, and eventually controls, in big part, who is chosen” and “controls the elections procedure to make sure that particular tunes or albums are chosen when the manufacturer of the Grammys [ Ken Ehrlich ] desires a specific tune carried out on the program”. The academy has actually not reacted to these particular claims beyond the abovementioned termination of Dugan’s filing.

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“Deborah” dugan at the latin grammys in november 2019.”src=”″/> Deborah Dugan at the Latin Grammys in November 2019. Photo: Eric Jamison/Invision/AP

Dugan’s filing states that the supposed behaviour was enabled by a “kids’ club mindset” in the business. In an accompanying declaration , her legal group stated those implicated utilized “methods similar to those released by people safeguarding Harvey Weinstein”.

The EEOC will now work to figure out whether Dugan’s accusations have benefit, and whether her suspension victimizes her. Whatever the result, it is a destructive episode for a business that was attempting to restore its image: in addition to criticism of its predisposition towards male winners, artists consisting of Frank Ocean, Kanye West and Drake have actually criticised the awards recently over an absence of assistance for non-white artists in significant classifications.

In 2018, Michelle Obama’s previous chief of personnel Tina Tchen was employed to direct a taskforce to take a look at how the Grammys run. Its last report , released in December, proposed higher variety in academy members and modifications to voting treatments.

The 2020 Grammy awards occur on Sunday, with Lizzo making the most elections with 8, ahead of Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X with 6 each.

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