Former CEO Deborah Dugan has reached a settlement with the Recording Academy ahead of their arranged arbitration in July, reports Pitchfork. A statement released by both Dugan and the Recording Academy reads, “The Recording Academy and Deborah Dugan have agreed to resolve their differences and to keep the terms of their agreement private.”
Dugan was hired as CEO of the Recording Academy in 2018 and fired in March 2020. Dugan alleged that she was sexually harassed by the Recording Academy’s general counsel Joel Katz and that there was corruption in the Grammy voting process in a complaint submitted to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Dugan was hired as the CEO of the Recording Academy in 2018 after former CEO Neil Portnow’s contract ended. Portnow was the source of several controversies himself– he was accused of allegedly raping an artist in the same complaint filed by Dugan. Portnow denies the allegation. Portnow had also commented that women should “step up” if they wanted equal representation as nominees, following criticism about the 2018 Grammy Awards, where only one female artist won a major award.
The Recording Academy stirred controversy just before the 2020 Grammy Awards when they placed Dugan on administrative leave. She was officially fired in March 2020, which she claims came as a result of her whistleblowing. The Recording Academy claims Dugan was fired because she was accused of misconduct by an unnamed female employee. “I was recruited and hired by the Recording Academy to make positive change; unfortunately, I was not able to do that as its CEO,” Dugan said. “Is anyone surprised that its purported investigations did not include interviewing me or addressing the greater claims of conflicts of interest and voting irregularities?”