LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — Just days before the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards, the suspended CEO of the Recording Academy has turned a harsh spotlight on the integrity of the nominations.
In a complaint filed Tuesday, Deborah Dugan claimed an artist — who came in 18th in the initial voting for Song of the Year — not only sat on the committee that decided the nominees, but was also represented by a board member of the Recording Academy.
“There are conflicts of interest that taint the system,” Dugan said.
According to Dugan, that artist was named one of the final nominees.
“Not only are there trustees that have conflicts of interest on particular artists that are nominated, but, more importantly, there are even artists that are nominated that are in the room,” she said. “So for me, that’s just such a blatant conflict of interest.”
Dugan stopped short of naming the artist involved, saying that she did not want to compromise the artist’s integrity.
Jem Aswad, senior music editor for Variety, said the industry was horrified by the complaint.
“I got an earful about how angry the creative community if about it,” he said. “There has not been a smoking gun quite like this one.”
The Recording Academy’s board chair and acting CEO Harvey Mason Jr. and chief awards officer Bill Freimuth released a statement Thursday that read, in part:
“Spurious allegations claiming members or committees use our process to push forward nominations for artists they have relationships with are categorically false, misleading and wrong. This process is strictly enforced with everyone involved and has no exceptions.”
Dugan was placed on administrative leave last week after being accused of creating an abusive and bullying environment by a staffer. She has denied those allegations.
The Recording Academy said it was investigating both Dugan’s claims and the claims made against her.