Grammys CEO fired after being placed on leave for alleged misconduct

Brendan Morrow

The Recording Academy is officially playing its ousted CEO off.

Just before the 2020 Grammys in January, Deborah Dugan was placed on administrative leave as the head of the organization that puts on the show, with the Recording Academy citing "a formal allegation of misconduct" made against her. Dugan subsequently fired back by going public with her own allegations against the Recording Academy, claiming there are "conflicts of interest" within the organization that "taint the results" of the show. She also accused outside general counsel Joel Katz of sexual harassment, which he denied, and described what she called a "'boys' club' mentality" at the organization.

Almost two months later, the Recording Academy officially fired Dugan on Monday, saying this followed "two exhaustive, costly independent investigations relating to Ms. Dugan and the allegations made against her and by her." The New York Times in Janaury reported an assistant filed a complaint accusing her of a "bullying management style."

The Recording Academy on Monday also slammed Dugan's numerous media interviews in January accusing the Grammys of corruption, calling this a "unwarranted and damaging media campaign that she launched in an attempt, without justification, to derail the Grammy Awards show" with "false allegations."

Dugan's lawyers blasted the Recording Academy in their own statement on Monday, saying the decision shows "that it will stop at nothing to protect and maintain a culture of misogyny, discrimination, sexual harassment, corruption and conflicts of interest," The Wrap reports. They add that "the decision is despicable and, in due course, the Academy, it's leadership and its attorneys will be held accountable under the law."

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