Deborah Dugan
Deborah Dugan

Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan placed on administrative leave following misconduct allegation

Cape Town – The lead up to The Grammys has been marred in controversy once again as the CEO of the Recording Academy Deborah Dugan has been placed on administrative leave less than two weeks before the event.

Alicia Keys will be hosting the event which will take place in Los Angeles on Sunday, 26 January.

The organisation said in a statement to E! News: “In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately.”

The statement went on: “The Board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations. The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academy’s Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators”.

While the investigation continues, board chair Harvey Mason Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO. 

Deborah was appointed in August 2019 and became the first female president and CEO of the music organisation. Following her suspension, her attorney released a statement denying any wrongdoing. In it, Bryan J. Freedman said:

“What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told… When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you ‘step up’ at the Recording Academy, a public non-profit.”

Compiled by Alex Isaacs

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