Newly suspended CEO Deborah Dugan filed a discrimination charge against the Recording Academy of Arts & Sciences just days before the Grammy Awards are set to air. Dugan alleges she was being retaliated against for reporting misconduct within the Academy, detailing several explosive claims in the 46-page complaint. Yes, 46 pages.
Dugan was elevated to the position six months ago and now says she wants to expose the Academy as a “boys’ club” that puts their “financial interest above the Academy’s mission.” She accused them of corrupt voting practices among other issues.
Sound familiar? Last year, back in February 2019 Nicki Minaj‘s anger stemming towards the practice of the “fixed” voting system became viral and she wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Minaj announced on Twitter that she was “pulling out of this year’s BET Awards and BET Experience”, where she was set to perform as a headliner. “Young Money will no longer be apart of the BET Experience or award show,” she continued. “I pissed off the same man Ariana (Grande) just called out for lying,” Minaj tweeted. “Grammy producer KEN. I was bullied into staying quiet for 7 years out of fear. But I’ll tell my fans the REAL on the next episode of #QueenRadio they deserve the truth. Also, CONGRATS to everyone who won last night.”
Grande also backed out after tweeting, “I offered 3 different songs,” she continued in the thread. “It’s about collaboration. it’s about feeling supported. it’s about art and honesty. not politics. not doing favors or playing games. it’s just a game y’all.. and i’m sorry but that’s not what music is to me.”
Rolling Stone‘s senior music business editor Amy X. Wang told CBS News, “It says a lot, that basically says the Academy misrepresented itself to the public, to its voting members, and to her when she came in.”
Some of Dugan’s most damning claims involve former CEO Neil Portnow, who was criticized for his 2018 comments that women who want a bigger role in the music industry need to “step up” in response to the outcry over the lack of female Grammy winners. Portnow later apologized for the remarks.
Dugan further alleges that “the Grammy voting process is ripe with corruption,” detailing secret committees the group used to “push forward artists with whom it has relationships.” She said that as many as 30 artists who were not selected by the 12,000 voting members were added to the possible nomination list.
The Academy said that it “regrets that music’s biggest night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan’s actions.” Guess Nicki and Ariana knew exactly what they were talking about. It’s a shame all the hard work these artists put in and its unfairly being taken away if they aren’t with the “in” crowd. The Grammys are still set to air this Sunday as planned, but boy to they need to get it together.