Deborah Dugan, former Grammys boss, files lawsuit against recording academy alleging sexual misconduct
The former Grammys boss Deborah Dugan has filed a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences following her dismissal last week.
Dugan claims that she was sacked as Grammys boss after raising allegations of sexual harassment. The suit has been filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and arrives after Dugan was dismissed for “misconduct”.
In the complaint, Dugan says she was put on administrative leave a few weeks after sending an email to the Academy’s managing director of human resources in which she highlights the serious allegations against the Academy and the “historically male dominated leadership”. Dugan claims that her leave came as a direct result of her complaint to HR and that she, herself, had been subject to sexual harassment.
The complaint states, “The decision to put Ms. Dugan on leave was clearly made in retaliation for her complaint and came with thinly veiled threats of termination in the event that Ms. Dugan persisted in pursuing claims against the Academy.”
As part of the complaint, which is full of gigantic allegations, Dugan also claims that she was informed that her former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow is currently facing an allegation of rape from a prominent female recording artist.
As well as that claim, Dugan also went on to detail the “historic” overlooking of women and minority groups within the Grammy Awards and even noted that the Academy has “routinely faced criticism for failing to honour Black artists.”
The Recording Academy responded via CNN and noted that it was “curious” that Dugan had decided to pursue the lawsuit after she was facing separate claims that she “created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct’.”
Their statement continued: “Ms. Dugan was placed on administrative leave only after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organisation.”
Ms. Dugan’s lawyers responded and said she “repeatedly raised concerns throughout her entire tenure at the Academy, and even gave large presentations focused on diversity and inclusion at Board meetings.”