Recording Academy, Former President Deborah Dugan Reach Agreement Over Departure
The Recording Academy and the body’s former president and CEO Deborah Dugan have reached an agreement over her departure following an arbitration process.
“The Recording Academy and Deborah Dugan have agreed to resolve their differences and to keep the terms of their agreement private,” read a short statement from both parties.
The agreement brings to an end a long drawn out and often acrimonious period for the Academy after Dugan’s employment was terminated March 2, 2020. She was dismissed after the Academy had placed her on administrative leave Jan. 16, 2020 — just 10 days before the 62nd annual Grammy Awards ceremony — amid allegations of workplace bullying.
Dugan filed a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Jan. 21, calling the Academy a “boys’ club” with “corrupt” Grammy voting procedures. The Academy has loudly refuted those claims, especially those pertaining to Grammy voting.
Dugan’s March termination followed two independent investigations, the first into her allegations against the Academy and another into the accusations made against her by a former assistant.
At the time of the termination, the Academy cited the “unwarranted and damaging media campaign that she launched in an attempt, without justification, to derail the Grammy Awards show” and her “consistent management deficiencies and failures” as decision-making factors.
On March 3, Dugan filed an updated complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Her lawyers argued that the arbitration complaint was “completely frivolous.” The filing also said that Dugan has emails proving her allegation that the Grammy nomination process is “rife with voting irregularities.”
The settlement caps a busy week for the Recording Academy after the body appointed Valeisha Butterfield Jones and Panos A. Panay as co-presidents. Effective Aug. 16, Butterfield Jones and Panay will join Chief Operating Officer Branden Chapman and Chief Industry Officer Ruby Marchand as part of the leadership team that will work under Recording Academy President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr.