A Crisis At The Grammys Is Threatening To Overshadow Sunday’s Awards Show

24.1.2020

I am a breaking news reporter for Forbes in London, covering Europe and the U.S. Previously I was a news reporter for HuffPost UK, the Press Association and a night reporter at the Guardian. I studied Social Anthropology at the London School of Economics, where I was a writer and editor for one of the university’s global affairs magazines, the London Globalist. That led me to Goldsmiths, University of London, where I completed my M.A. in Journalism. Got a story? Get in touch at isabel.togoh@forbes.com, or follow me on Twitter @bissieness. I look forward to hearing from you.

Share to twitter Share to linkedin Dugan was placed on administrative leave last week, just 10 days before the 62nd awards ceremony WireImage The Recording Academy's diversity and inclusion taskforce has sided with its suspended CEO Deborah Dugan , the latest twist in a crisis that has gripped the organizations just days ahead of its flagship Grammy awards. Dugan was placed on administrative leave last week over claims of bullying and harassment by a senior member of the academy. Dugan subsequently filed a 44-page complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). In it, she accused the academy of a rigging voting, and levelled claims of sexual harassment at executives. On Thursday, a task force hired by the Academy to identify diversity issues in the organization, publicly sided with Dugan, the LA Times reported . During her five-month tenure as CEO, Dugan had pledged to improve the diversity of the Recording Academy's members. In a statement, the taskforce said of Dugan's complaints:"These new charges reinforce just how important and urgent it is that the Academy implement all of the changes in the report that we delivered — without any delay." It comes after Dugan made her first public comments since her suspension. The former charity executive appeared on CBS and Good Morning America on Thursday morning to discuss the claims she filed to the EEOC. She told CBS host Tony Dokoupil: “In that room, not only are there trustees that have conflicts of interest on particular artists that are nominated, but more importantly, there are even artists that are nominated that are in the room. This process could be fair and transparent...so many good people on the board, they deserve better.” Later asked if she would call the process rigged, she said “yes it is.” The Recording Academy called the claims “categorically false.” Bill Freimuth, the Academy’s chief awards officer, said: “There are strict rules in place to avoid any conflict of interest.” In a separate interview with GMA, Dugan also discussed her allegations of sexual harassment against Joel Katz, an entertainment lawyer representing the academy. Katz has denied the allegations. The 62nd Grammy’s ceremony will kick off at the Staples centre on Friday night, with Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran slated to perform, while Alicia Keys will host. Dugan said she will be watching. Key background : Dugan was suspended as CEO earlier this month over a “formal allegation of misconduct” by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the organization said at the time. Dugan was only in the job five months when she was placed on leave, and had been the first woman ever at the helm of the Recording Academy. Dugan’s case has reportedly split members, with some insiders accusing executives of a coup in response to Dugan’s attempts to overhaul the institution. Over recent years, the Grammy has grappling with facing criticism over the diversity of its members and nominations. As CEO, Dugan pledged to double the number of women voters. Further reading Read more: Forbes

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