This year’s Grammy Awards is surrounded in controversy after a number of allegations from its former president, Deborah Dugan. Dugan, the first female president of the Recording Academy, the organization which operates the Grammys, was recently put on administrative leave just a few days before the awards. Dugan alleged that the Grammys have widespread problems with corruption and sexual harassment in an interview with Good Morning America.

Dugan, who appeared alongside her attorney, was interview by George Stephanopoulos about the allegations she put forth in a formal complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. She claimed the Recording Academy was a “boy’s club.” In the interview, Dugan recounted a time where Joel Katz, a former board member and attorney for the Recording Academy, had taken her out to dinner. Dugan claims that Katz made inappropriate comments, calling her, “babe,” and at one point attempted to kiss her. Katz denies these allegations. Dugan also discussed with Stephanopoulos about how she discovered when she became CEO, the former CEO, Neil Portnow, had been accused of raping an artist. Portnow also denies these allegations.


Dugan also alleges that there is corruption in the voting process for the ceremony. In the report, Dugan claims that there a number of, “secret committees,” which selects the finalists from a top 20 list voted on by the 12,000 members of the Academy. These secret committees, Dugan alleges, can choose to nominate the less popular artists on the list, and even choose artists not present on the list, in order to reward artists with close ties to the Academy. Dugan claims that when selecting the nominees for the 2019 Song of the Year, an artist which came 18th on the list was nominated, while this artist also sat on the nomination committee. When Stephanopoulos asked who this artist was, Dugan refused to say, wanting to protect the privacy of the artists involved.

Stephanopoulos concluded the interview by asking if Dugan was going to watch the ceremony. Surprisingly, she said that she will. “I worked very hard on the show. I love the artists that are going to be performing, and I love all those that are nominated that don’t get the honor of being on the show,” Dugan said.

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