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DUGAN TAKES HER
CASE TO GMA, CBS (UPDATE)

Good Morning America’s George Stephanopoulos attempted to get ousted Recording Academy CEO and President Deborah Dugan to spill the beans on slighted artists and voting irregularities this morning on air, but she and her lawyer were having none of it.

“I’m saying the [nominating] system needs to have more transparency,” Dugan said today on ABC’s GMA. “There are incidents of conflict of interest that taint the results.”

Dugan and her attorney, Douglas Wigdor, largely stuck to the points already raised in her EEOC complaint, harping several times on the rape accusation against her predecessor, Neil Portnow, recapping her dinner with Joel Katz and how open-minded Dugan felt she was in her approach to the job.

“I wanted to make change within,” she said, “trying to take a deep breath at each step and say ‘OK, I can make a difference and fix this. I can work with this team.’”

Dugan and Wigdor would not “out” the artist who received a nom despite coming in 18th out of 20 in the Song of the Year category voting tally nor go deeper into allegations of misconduct in the jazz categories. She would only say she has evidence.

Stephanopoulos wondered if the audience can watch Sunday’s show  and trust the results as being honest. “I think so,” Dugan responded.

This wasn’t Dugan’s only AM network TV appearance on 1/23. On CBS This Morning, once again joined by Wigdor, she acknowledged to Gayle King and company that she’d thrown a “firebomb” into the mix, and averred that the situation was “awkward” for CBS, which is hosting the Grammy telecast.  She called out trustees’ and nominated artists’ “conflicts of interest” in participating in the nomination process. “There are so many good people on the board; they deserve better,” she argued. “They should have a fair, transparent system.”

“There are conflicts of interest that taint the system,” she added, declining to name specific instances of artists who benefited. She also called out the “mostly white male” decision makers.

“I’ve never filed an HR claim or had one filed against me” in the past, Dugan also said of Claudine Little’s now-infamous complaint, and again underscored that she’d tried to help Little find a place in the org after Neil Portnow, Little’s former boss, exited. “There was a culture of sexism and corruption,” and asserted she’d only come forward “because I was so severely retaliated against.”

 

UPDATE:

More publications have released articles covering the Recording Academy and Dugan's battle. Ben Sisario and Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times detailed "How the Grammys and Deborah Dugan Went From Hello to War in 5 Months" Thursday morning. In their piece, John Legend manager and member of the academy's diversity task force Ty Stiklorious offered her views on the academy's integrity, along with her vote of "absolutely no confidence in the board." Ken Ehrlich also added a quote shooting down Dugan's claims of manipulation in the nominations process detailed in her complaint, where she listed Ehrlich as an influencer. He told the NYT "There is no truth to what she alleges."

The LA Times published a column on Dugan burning down the house of the Grammys

 

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