New York (ABC) – Just three days before the Grammy’s, the ousted CEO of The Recording Academy says she was pushed out after exposing nomination rigging and sexual harassment.
“I hate that I’m in this situation because I’d much rather be here talking about the artists and the music, but I can’t help but have to say there are conflicts of interest,” Deborah Dugan, CEO Recording Academy said in an exclusive ABC interview.
Dugan claims she was pushed out after revealing irregularities in the nomination process in a 46-page discrimination complaint.
Dugan alleges that the voting process behind the awards is “ripe with corruption” involving “secret committees”, which she claims “push forward artists with whom they have relationships”.
She also claims the board “manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the [Grammy’s] producer wants a particular song performed during the show”.
“It’s very serious, and I won’t be here if I didn’t think I could make a difference,” Dugan said in the interview.
The Recording Academy fired back, alleging it was Dugan who created a “toxic and intolerable” work environment, adding “it immediately launched independent investigations to review both Ms. Dugan’s potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations”.
Dugan denies their allegations and also says she was sexually harassed by the academy’s general counsel, who categorically denies her allegations.
Deborah Dugan says The Recording Academy is a boy’s club and that the Grammy’s has a long-standing struggle with gender equality.
The women on the academy’s executive committee call Dugan’s allegations “heartbreaking” and say her claim of it being a boy’s club is untrue.