Tuesday on ABC’s Good Morning America, ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan told her side of the story in a contentious debate that’s roiled the music industry just days before the Grammy Awards.
Dugan claims she was pushed out after exposing alleged sexual harassment, nomination rigging, and what she described as a toxic “boy’s club” that sidelined women and minority groups. In response, the Recording Academy alleges it was Dugan who created a “toxic and intolerable” work environment and is investigating both Ms. Dugan’s alleged potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations.
Regarding the nomination rigging, Dugan told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos on Good Morning America Thursday, “There are incidents of conflict of interest that taints the results.”
Stephanopoulos then read out loud what’s written in her complaint: “One artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 Song of the Year category ended up with a nomination. This artist was actually permitted to sit on the Song of the Year nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board.”
“Who is this person?” Stephanopoulos then asked.
Dugan and her lawyer wouldn’t reveal the artist’s identity, but Dugan went on to say that that alleged incident wasn’t an isolated one.
“It’s not even just that one room. I have evidence that in another room….there were complaints made in the jazz category,” she began, before Stephanopoulos interrupted her, saying, “That was gonna be my next question, so you do have evidence?
“I do,” she responded.
As a reminder, last year’s Song of the Year winner was Childish Gambino‘s “This Is America.” The other nominees were Lady Gaga’s “Shallow,” “All the Stars” by Kendrick Lamar and SZA, “Boo’d Up” by Ella Mai, “God’s Plan” by Drake, “In My Blood” by Shawn Mendes, “The Middle” by Zedd, Maren Morris and Grey, and “The Joke,” by Brandi Carlile.
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