Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Files Official Complaint To The E.E.O.C.

by Raheem Karim
Deborah Dugan

Deborah Dugan Alleges Discrimination For Her Removal From Academy

Deborah Dugan

Bryan Bedder/Getty Images

Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan filed an official 44 page complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Los Angeles office today. Last Thursday, the Recording Academy abruptly fired Deborah Dugan, from her position. Ms. Dugan’s ouster last Thursday — just 10 days before the 62nd annual Grammy ceremony on Sunday came to a surprise in the music industry. In a statement, the Academy said Dugan was placed on leave “in light of concerns raised to the Academy’s board of trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct.”

She had been removed as retaliation for uncovering a range of misconduct at the academy, including sexual harassment, improper voting procedures and conflicts of interest among academy board members. The complaints also highlights the lack of diversity in many major categories.

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According to the New York Times, The document, filed with the E.E.O.C alleges that Ms. Dugan’s predecessor, Neil Portnow, had been accused of rape by an artist, and that the academy’s board had been scheduled to vote for a bonus for him even though all of its members had not been told about the accusation. The complaint has little detail about the accusation, but said that a psychiatrist had said that the encounter was “likely not consensual.”

Also Ms. Dugan alleges she had received unwanted sexual advances from Joel Katz, the Academy’s lawyer, during her brief tenure.

Mr. Katz disputed Ms. Dugan’s account and Mr. Portnow, who has not been charged with a crime, said on Wednesday that “the allegations of rape are ludicrous, and untrue.”

The academy said in a statement: “It is curious that Ms. Dugan never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct.’”

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