Earlier this week, recently suspended Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan went viral when she claimed the awards show was a rigged boys’ club. Not only did she reveal previous CEO Neil Portnow had been accused of rape, Dugan claimed she, herself, had been sexually harassed and certain artists get preferential treatment throughout the voting process. We aren’t surprised at all — and now we have more information about the 46-page complaint heard ’round the nation.
“A transparent nomination process, she said, is not promoted,” Dugan stated in the documents, according to Complex. “Instead, submissions for awards are said to begin with a vote from voting members, after which top 20 selections are looked over by ‘secret committees’ whose members are selected by Head of Awards Bill Freimuth and the Board Chair. These committees, Dugan said, contain members ‘who represent or have relationships with’ potentially nominated artists.”
“While these committees are meant to dwindle down the lists of 20 to the final nominees, the Board is alleged to use the committees to promote artists who have relationships with them,” Complex goes on to explain. “Furthermore, certain songs and albums have allegedly been nominated solely because Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich wanted to hear a specific song performed on the show.”
Here’s a direct quote from Dugan’s complaint:
“[O]ne artist who initially ranked 18 out of 20 in the 2019 Song of the Year category ended up with a nomination. This artist was actually permitted to sit on the Song of the Year nomination committee. Incredibly, this artist is also represented by a member of the Board. As a result of the foregoing, it is not surprising that many high caliber artists who could have taken home the award in a specific category have, at times, not been nominated at all. For instance, Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande, who had been voted for by the membership, missed out on nominations in the 2019 Song of the Year category in part because the aforementioned artist who ranked 18 out of 20 was nominated instead.”
We will continue to keep our readers updated, as Dugan claimed on Good Morning America that she has the evidence to back her claims.