Former Recording Academy president files discrimination complaint

Bryan Bedder/Getty ImagesFormer Recording Academy CEO and President Deborah Dugan and her lawyers spent Tuesday trading accusations with the Academy in the wake of Dugan’s complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accusing the organization behind the Grammy Awards of gender discrimination and sexual harassment.

Dugan’s complaint alleges, among other things, that the Recording Academy engaged in “egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members, voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards and other misconduct.”

The complaint further alleges that the Academy, “unlawfully retaliated against Ms. Dugan by placing her on administrative leave (only after she indicated her intent to commence legal action and refused to settle her claims on terms dictated by the Academy), threatening Ms. Dugan with termination and publishing false and defamatory statements about Ms. Dugan to the media.”

Dugan’s lawyers, one of whom is Douglas H. Wigdor, who represents 20 women accusing Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, compared the Recording Academy’s response to the embattled film mogul by attempting to “impugn the character of Deborah Dugan [in] a transparent effort to shift the focus away from its own unlawful activity.”

In response the the EEOC complaint, the Recording Academy hit back by claiming Dugan “never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct.’”

Dugan’s attorneys responded with a followup statement calling the Academy’s claim that she didn’t raise concerns prior to the accusations against her “completely false.”

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