Music

Ousted Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Believes Grammy Results Are ‘Tainted’ By ‘Conflicts Of Interest’

The Grammys are in just a few days now. In addition to the artists and works nominated in some hotly contested categories, a lot of the talk leading up to the event has been about some serious behind-the-scenes drama. Just days before this year’s ceremony (which is on January 26), Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan (who assumed the position this past summer) was placed on administrative leave. Not long after that, she filed an official complaint against the Academy, in which she made accusations of corruption and sexual misconduct.

A lot has happened on this front over the past few days, and now Dugan has stopped by Good Morning America to talk about it.

Dugan, who was joined by her attorney Doug Wigdor, spoke about her claim that she was sexually harassed by lawyer Joel Katz, saying, “At the very onset, under the guise of a work dinner I was propositioned by the general counsel, an entertainment lawyer of enormous power in the industry.. […] I felt like I was being tested on how much would I acquiesce, and I realized that was a power setting move just on the onset as I was coming into the committee.”

Dugan went on to address what she believes is a flawed Grammy nomination process, saying, “I’m saying that the system should be transparent, and that there are incidents of conflict of interest that taints the results. I couldn’t say more positive things about all of the nominations and everybody that performs. Oh, my god, I hate that I’m in this situation, because I’d much rather be here talking about the artists and the music, but I have to say there are conflicts of interest that go on.”

She said that ultimately, her goal as CEO was to make the Recording Academy and the Grammys better: “I actually wanted to make change from within. I believe in what the Recording Academy should stand for — for artists — and I was trying at each step to take a deep breath and say, ‘Okay, I can make a difference. I can fix this. I can work with this team.'”

Watch the full interview above, and find the full list of this year’s Grammy nominees here.

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