The currently suspended Grammy CEO Deborah Dugan recently sat down with Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos where she discussed the recent controversy surrounding her recent placement on administrative leave, the rape allegations levied against former CEO Neil Portnow, the sexual harassment and defamation complaint filed to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the Record Academy’s general counsel’s Joel Katz and a new allegation, where she claimed that Recording Academy had “conflicts of interest that taint the results.”
FULL INTERVIEW: “I have evidence…”
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 23, 2020
Despite this latest allegation, Dugan nor her attorney Douglas Wigdor who sat with her during this interview revealed which artist allegedly benefited from this supposed conflict of interest. “For the artist’s privacy and for the integrity of all those artists that are going to perform and get nominations this year, I don’t want to say,” Dugan explained.
Despite not revealing the artist in question, Dugan stated that she has proof of these unfair practices, although members of the academy have denied her allegations.
“Spurious allegations claiming members or committees use our process to push forward nominations for artists they have relationships with are categorically false, misleading and wrong,” Chief Awards Officer Bill Freimuth said in a statement to Pitchfork. “This process is strictly enforced with everyone involved and has no exceptions.”
Dugan also elaborated on her allegations against Katz, who allegedly made unwanted advances such as calling her babe, remarking on her looks, and trying to kiss her at a dinner meeting. Dugan stated that these practices were a “power-setting mood” that began as soon as she entered into her role as Grammy CEO.
Regarding Portnow, Dugan alleged that other members of the academy knew about the rape allegations against him, however she reportedly found out when taking over as CEO. Dugan had originally replaced Portnow in 2019, after the latter CEO came under fire for comments regarding women in the music industry.
Both Katz and Portnow deny the allegations made by Dugan.