Grammys Chief Calls Her Removal Retaliation for Exposing ‘Boys’ Club’

Legal

Ben Sisario, writing for the New York Times:

Deborah Dugan, the suspended chief of the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, said in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday that she had been removed as retaliation for uncovering a range of misconduct at the academy, including sexual harassment, improper voting procedures and conflicts of interest among academy board members.

And:

According to the complaint, the nominating committee, when finalizing the ballot for the 2019 award for song of the year, for example, chose as one of its eight final nominees a song that had initially ranked 18 out of 20. The artist behind that song, the complaint alleges, was allowed to sit on the committee and was also represented by a board member.

The complaint also says that the committees can add artists to the ballot who had not first been chosen by the general voting pool. For this year’s awards, it says, 30 such artists were “added to the possible nomination list.”

And:

The document, filed with the E.E.O.C.’s Los Angeles office and technically called a charge of discrimination, alleges that Ms. Dugan’s predecessor, Neil Portnow, had been accused of rape by an artist, and that the academy’s board had been scheduled to vote for a bonus for him even though all of its members had not been told about the accusation. The complaint has little detail about the accusation, but said that a psychiatrist had said that the encounter was “likely not consensual.”

It also says that Ms. Dugan herself had received unwanted sexual advances from Joel Katz, a powerful industry lawyer who represents the Grammys.

The Grammys Are Out of Touch

Grammys

Hazel Cills, writing for The Muse:

Out of 899 people nominated for the last six Grammy Awards, a new report from the Annenberg Inclusion Initiative at the University of Southern California found that only nine percent of those people were women. And we still don’t know the race, gender, and age breakdown of the 24,000 member Recording Academy itself, which leads to an Academy that can only conceive of excellent women artists in the form of Adele and Taylor Swift. It’s this out-of-touch mindset that is partly destroying the Grammys’ ratings, with the ceremony hitting an all-time low this year. And who would blame anyone for not tuning in, considering Best Album winner Adele disputed her own win last year?

Grammy President Apologizes

Grammys

Neil Portnow, the president of the Grammys has apologized for his previous comments about women needing to “step up:”

Last night, I was asked a question about the lack of female artist representation in certain categories of this year’s GRAMMY Awards. Regrettably, I used two words, “step up,” that, when taken out of context, do not convey my beliefs and the point I was trying to make.

Our industry must recognize that women who dream of careers in music face barriers that men have never faced. We must actively work to eliminate these barriers and encourage women to live their dreams and express their passion and creativity through music. We must welcome, mentor, and empower them. Our community will be richer for it. I regret that I wasn’t as articulate as I should have been in conveying this thought. I remain committed to doing everything I can to make our music community a better, safer, and more representative place for everyone.

Why Didn’t Lorde Perform at the Grammys?

Lorde

Jem Aswad, writing for Variety:

Sources close to the situation tell Variety that the Grammys approached Lorde about performing with other artists but not solo; one source says it was part of a tribute to the late Tom Petty involving his song “American Girl” (which would have been an odd fit for the New Zealand-born singer). Lorde declined.

That source added that the other Album of the Year contenders — all of whom are male — were offered solo spots performing songs from their respective nominated albums.

‘Women Need to Step Up,’ Says Recording Academy President

Grammys

Michele Amabile Angermiller, writing at Variety:

The only woman presented a solo Grammy during the awards telecast on Sunday night? Alessia Cara, who took home best new artist. Recording Academy president Neil Portnow was asked by Variety about #GrammysSoMale and had this to say:

“It has to begin with… women who have the creativity in their hearts and souls, who want to be musicians, who want to be engineers, producers, and want to be part of the industry on the executive level… [They need] to step up because I think they would be welcome. I don’t have personal experience of those kinds of brick walls that you face but I think it’s upon us — us as an industry — to make the welcome mat very obvious, breeding opportunities for all people who want to be creative and paying it forward and creating that next generation of artists.”

Gee, I wonder why no one watches this boring, too long, and completely out of touch show.

Ratings for Grammy Awards Drop 24 Percent

Grammys

Dominic Patten, writing at Deadline:

James Corden’s second kick at the Grammy host can last night saw 19.81 million tune into watch music’s supposedly biggest night. That’s down 24% from the final viewership of the February 12, 2107 Grammys and the worst the CBS aired ceremony has done since 2009.

The Grammys Announce Changes

Grammys

The Grammys are making a few changes to their awards. Billboard reports:

Moving forward, all music creators (songwriters, producers, engineers, mixers, mastering engineers, featured artists) credited with at least 33 percent or more playing time on the winning album will be eligible to receive a Grammy in the Album Of The Year category. Previously, songwriters were not recognized in this category.