Days after Grammys President and CEO Deborah Dugan was placed on administrative leave following “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team,” Interim Grammy head Harvey Mason Jr. issued a statement lambasting the “sensational sound bites and teaser headlines” about Dugan’s removal. “I’m deeply disturbed and saddened by the ‘leaks’ and misinformation, which are fueling a press campaign designed to create leverage against the Academy for personal gain,” Mason said, in a letter published to the Grammy website on Monday.
The headlines he’s referring to are, ostensibly, those suggesting Dugan’s removal was effectively “a coup,” a reaction prompted by a memo the then-President sent to the Recording Academy’s Human Resources Department asserting that the organization is financially mismanaged, plagued by questionable voting practices and rife with conflicts of interest. Mason, however, alleges that Dugan’s lawyer offered to have Dugan retract those accusations, which he says followed the allegations made against her, and resign…for the right price.
“After we received the employee complaints against Ms. Dugan, she then (for the first time) made allegations against the Academy,” claims Mason. “In response, we started a separate investigation into Ms. Dugan’s allegations. Ms. Dugan’s attorney then informed the Executive Committee that if Ms. Dugan was paid millions of dollars, she would ‘withdraw’ her allegations and resign from her role as CEO.” You can read his full statement here.
Meanwhile, this whole time, the Grammys themselves are scheduled for this coming Sunday, January 26, at 8:00pm EST and 5:00pm PST on CBS.