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Former Grammy Director Deborah Dugan sues the recording academy for alleged sexual harassment

2020-01-23T19:01:13.887Z

In his lawsuit, Dugan alleges that she was unfairly fired after filing allegations of sexual harassment and irregularities with Grammy nominations. The Academy talks about conflicts of interest…



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The executive president of the Recording Academy Deborah Dugan speaks during the announcement of the nominations at the CBS Broadcast Center on November 20, 2019 in New York. (Credit: Getty Images)

(CNN) - Former Grammy executive director Deborah Dugan filed a lawsuit against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences on Tuesday alleging that she was unfairly dismissed after filing allegations of sexual harassment and irregularities with Grammy nominations .

The lawsuit, filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), comes a few days before the issuance of the 62nd Grammy Awards and days after Dugan withdrew. that the academy called "misconduct."

Dugan says he was placed on administrative leave three weeks after he sent an email to the academy's managing director of human resources in which he described several explosive accusations against the organization and his "leadership historically dominated by men," according to the complaint of the EEOC.

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"The decision to put Mrs. Dugan on leave was clearly taken in retaliation for her complaint, and came with threats of dismissal in the event Mrs. Dugan persisted in filing lawsuits against the Academy," says the lawsuit.

The lawsuit alleges that Dugan was subjected to sexual harassment.

Dugan also alleges that she was expelled after raising concerns about various "irregularities and conflicts" with the Academy nomination and review process, and that she discovered numerous conflicts of interest that were made possible by the "children's club mentality."

The complaint also includes claims of illegal gender discrimination, illegal retaliation and unequal payment.

Accusations against him

The Recording Academy said in a statement to CNN that it is "curious" that Dugan did not file the complaints until another employee made legal claims against him alleging that she "created a 'toxic and intolerable' work environment and 'abusive behavior and intimidating. "

After raising her human resources concerns, the academy said Dugan had asked them not to take action, but said the academy initiated independent investigations into the accusations she made, as well as those against her.

"Mrs. Dugan received an administrative license only after offering to resign and demand $ 22 million from the Academy, which is a non-profit organization," the statement said.

Dugan's lawyers said that the Academy's statement about the timing of their accusations "is completely false."

"Mrs. Dugan repeatedly raised concerns throughout her time at the Academy, and even made large presentations focusing on diversity and inclusion in board meetings," Douglas H. Wigdor and Michael J. Willemin said in a statement to CNN. .

The lawyers said others had raised the same concerns.

"As alleged in the lawsuit, artists, other board members and employees have raised virtually every concern expressed by Mrs. Dugan," they said. “As alleged, the Academy lost its way and left the record industry, and focused on self-treatment and turning a blind eye to the 'kids club' environment, obvious irregularities and conflicts of interests".

The lawyers said the academy offered Dugan "millions of dollars to leave all this and leave the Academy" and that when she refused to accept within an hour, she was placed on leave.

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The first woman to lead the Academy

Dugan was employed by the Academy for five months before being placed on leave.

The academy announced last week that Dugan had been put on "administrative leave" with immediate effect, after an accusation of misconduct.

“The board determined that this action was necessary to restore the confidence of the members of the Recording Academy, repair the morale of the Recording Academy employees and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators, ”the academy said in a statement. "The Board of Trustees of the Recording Academy is committed to fostering a safe, diverse and inclusive workplace, music industry and society."

In May 2019, it was announced that Dugan would become the first woman to run the academy when she took office, which happened on August 1 of that year.

"I am honored, humble and ready," he said in a statement at the time. “The aim of the Recording Academy is to support, encourage and defend those within the musical community. I will listen and defend all those people, and I will lead this iconic organization towards the future. I'm excited to start. ”

Dugan arrived at the post after serving as executive director of (RED), the nonprofit AIDS organization co-founded in 2006 by U2 Bono leader and activist and activist Bobby Shriver.

The president of the Board, Harvey Mason Jr., serves as interim president of the academy.

The Grammys will air live on January 26 on CBS.

- Alexandra Meeks and Theresa Waldrop of CNN contributed to this report.

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Source: cnnespanol

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