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Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Files Discrimination Complaint

Gettyimages | Jamie McCarthy
By Mimz

Deborah Dugan was ousted from the Grammys CEO position less than two weeks before the 2020 ceremony is set to take place. She was put on administrative leave only a few days ago and the Recording Academy didn't go into much detail, but they cited misconduct as the reasoning as to why should be stepping down. The board did say however that they, "retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations."

However, Dugan does not appear to be happy and is taking matters into her own hands.

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Dugan Is Filing a Major Sexual Harassment and Defamation Complaint

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She is now taking the Recording Academy to court and filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Dugan's attorneys, Douglas H. Wigdor and Michael J. Willemin, also issued a statement about the filing.

"The complaint that we filed today against the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS, the Academy's former full name) highlights tactics reminiscent of those deployed by individuals defending Harvey Weinstein. The attempt by the Recording Academy to impugn the character of Deborah Dugan is a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity."

Why Was She Removed?

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It's hard to know why Dugan was actually removed from the position since the Recording Academy is only alleging misconduct at this point. However, Dugan seems to believe that they wanted her out because she had complained about voting and financial irregularities. She is also saying that she was sexually harassed by the Recording Academy's lawyer, Joel Katz.

The 44-page complaint details all of what she's witnessed during her short, five months in the role and suggests that there has been a great deal of corruption happening behind the scenes.

Celebrities Rally Behind Dugan

Gettyimages | Rich Polk

Some are not happy with the ousting of Dugan and some artists have come to her defense. Chuck D, leader of the legendary rap group Public Enemy, criticized the Recording Academy for their treatment of Dugan in a lengthy Instagram post.

"As always, a bunch of ignorant, testosterone-fueled, usually old white men stop progress and screw it up," he wrote in the post. "Same old bulls---. They want to keep it status quo and make sure things like Hip Hop stay the poster child of their f---."

See You In Court

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As the organization's first woman CEO, Dugan most likely feels a sense of responsibility for how the Recording Academy moves forward and its inclusion of women and people of color, which it's struggled with in the past. This could explain why she didn't want to sweep any wrongdoings under the rug. It would be helpful to know exactly what the Recording Academy decided to let go of Dugan for because the details of this filing make the organization look arguably a little sketchy.

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