Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Files Discrimination Complaint Against Recording Academy

Just days before the 2020 Grammy Awards, CEO of the Recording Academy Deborah Dugan has been suspended from her role, the Recording Academy said in a statement to E! News.

By Jamie Blynn Jan 21, 2020 10:09 PMTags
Deborah DuganVALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images

UPDATE: In a statement to E! News, Douglas H. Wigdor and Michael J. Willemin, who are representing the CEO Deborah Dugan, reveal she's filing a complaint against the Recording Academy for discrimination. They state, "The complaint that we filed today against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the Grammys) highlights tactics reminiscent of those deployed by individuals defending Harvey Weinstein."

"As we allege, the attempt by the Recording Academy to impugn the character of Deborah Dugan is a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity," the statement continues. "This blatant form of retaliation in corporate America is all too common, even post #MeToo, and we will utilize all lawful means necessary to ensure that those responsible are held accountable for their actions."


The Grammy awards have often caused controversy and it seems like this year may be no different.

Less than two weeks before the 2020 Grammy Awards, CEO of the Recording Academy Deborah Dugan has been suspended from her role, the Recording Academy said in a statement to E! News. "In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately," the message began. "The Board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations."

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"The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academys Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators," the statement continued. "The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society."

Throughout the investigation, board chair Harvey Mason Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO. 

Dugan took charge of the Recording Academy in August 2019, making her the first female president and CEO of the music organization. Following her suspension, Dugan's attorney released a statement denies any wrongdoing. "What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told," Bryan J. Freedman said. "When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you 'step up' at the Recording Academy, a public nonprofit."

Watch: Lizzo Leads 2020 Grammy Nominations With 8

In the meantime, the show must go on. And, like in years past, it's guaranteed to be a great one. Lizzo leads the pack with eight nominations and Alicia Keys will return as host for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, Ariana GrandeDemi LovatoBlake SheltonGwen Stefani, Camila Cabello and The Jonas Brothers will take the stage to perform

(This article was originally published on Fri. Jan 17, 2020 at 7:22 a.m. PST.)