Is the controversy around Recording Academy boss Deborah Dugan being placed on administrative leave going to quieten down in the days leading up to the organisation’s flagship event, the Grammy Awards? No. No it is not.
Chair of the board and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason, Jr has published a letter to the ‘Academy Family’ on its website, which puts the body’s side of the story. It’s spicy, to say the least, claiming that the board launched an investigation into employee complaints of “a ‘toxic and intolerable’ and ‘abusive and bullying’ environment created by Ms. Dugan towards the staff”, and that “After we received the employee complaints against Ms. Dugan, she then (for the first time) made allegations against the Academy. 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”.
Mason went on to claim that he is “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”. The dispute is clearly going to carry on right up to the awards, and some distance beyond.