Former Grammys Chief Executive Alleges Voting Irregularities, Self-Dealing, & More In Explosive Lawsuit
It claims an artist nominated for Song of the Year in 2019 beat out acts ranked higher by academy members.
The Recording Academy removed its former chief executive Deborah Dugan last week just 10 days out from the Grammys, and now she’s firing back in an explosive lawsuit that claims widespread problems in the organization.
Variety reports that attorneys for Dugan have filed a discrimination complaint against the organization, listing a number of major claims. Notably, she claims that the real reason for former Recording Academy Chief Executive Neil Portnow’s resignation was that he “allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed.” Dugan claims she herself was subject to harassment and the victim of a “boy’s club” mentality within the organization.
The lawsuit also lays out alleged inconsistencies in the handling of Grammys voting and nominations thanks to internal conflicts of interest.
The lawsuit cites the 2019 Song of the Year category as an example, alleging that one of the eventual nominees was ranked 18 out of 20 but ended up with a nomination and sat on the board for the same category. It says that Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande missed out on potential nominations for Song of the Year due to this influence.
This is a developing story and will be updated with more information.