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Grammy CEO Says The System is Rigged

First of all I would like to say DUH but

A former CEO and president of the organization behind the Grammy Awards claims the nominating process for the music industry ceremony is “rigged” and clouded by conflicts of interest.

Deborah Dugan is the Academy exec who was put on administrative leave following an allegation of misconduct from the former assistant of her predecessor, Neil Portnow. Recently she filed a complaint detailing her own allegations of sexual harassment, corruption, and racial discrimination within the Recording Academy. Dugan was placed on immediate administrative leave on Jan. 17, five months after taking the helm as the Recording Academy’s first female chief executive and president. The Academy said at the time that the move was in response to an allegation of misconduct made against her by a senior member of staff but did not give details. She would then respond by filing a complaint on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender discrimination, unlawful retaliation and unequal pay.

These personnel allegations had largely overshadowed Dugan’s charges about the integrity of the Grammys’ awards process, probably because the annual ceremony is set to be televised on CBS in three days. In her complaint, she described what she called a “boys’ club mentality” at the Recording Academy. Adding that some members involved in the Grammy nomination process “push forward artists with whom they have relationships” and that in some cases musicians being considered for a nomination even sit on the committee voting in their category. She also alleges that major pop artists Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran were not nominated for song of the year at this year’s ceremony because people involved in the nominating process effectively took those slots for their preferred artists.

Dugan would make several news appearances to expand upon some of her claims this past Thursday. Depicting the awards nominating system as an essentially fixed process where board members, producers, lawyers and other “people with power” in the industry determine which artists wind up on the ballot. “If there are certain artists that the producer would like on the show, there are strong hints, influence, that might affect a select few in the nominating process,” Dugan said.

Now, the Recording Academy has responded regarding the nomination process, denying claims of corruption;

“The Academy has rigorous and well-publicized protocols in place to ensure that voting is absolutely fair — and free of conflicts of interest. For Ms. Dugan to suggest anything to the contrary is simply not true,” directing readers to an explanation of the voting process on its website.

“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 wrote in a statement sent to Pitchfork. “This process is strictly enforced with everyone involved and has no exceptions.”

Do you believe Dugan or do you think this is just another disgruntled employee, she said-he said situation?



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