The Great Grammys Disaster

Recording Academy Falls Apart Days Before the Grammys


Controversy surrounds the 2020 Grammys (photo courtesy of NBC News).

Ellie Coppock, Editor-in-Chief

Last week, the Recording Academy announced that the chief executive, Deborah Dugan, would be put on administrative leave following reports of misconduct. According to the Washington Post, a senior female of the Recording Academy reported the misconduct against Dugan. Dugan responded with a 44 page report alleging gender discrimination, sexual harassment, unequal pay, and rigged voting against the Recording Academy.

Dugan accuses entertainment lawyer Joel Katz of sexual harrassment in her report.  She also alleges that Neil Portnow, Dugan’s predecessor, raped an unnamed foreign female recording artist. According to the Los Angeles Times, Dugan alleges that the Academy’s Board of Trustees had knowledge of this incident and did not take action against Portnow. Additionally, Dugan states that there were, “egregious conflicts of interest, improper self-dealing by Board members and voting irregularities with respect to nominations for Grammy Awards, all made possible by the ‘boy’s club’ mentality and approach to governance at the Academy.”

This report came five days before the 2020 Grammy ceremony set to air on Sunday, January 26. The Grammys still took place at the Staples Center on January 26 and was hosted by singer Alicia Keys.

According to Time, some major winners include 18-year-old singer Billie Eilish, who took home 5 awards including Album of the Year, Record of the Year, Song of the Year, Best New Artist, and Best Pop Vocal Album; Lizzo, whose song “Truth Hurts” won Best Pop Solo Performance, album “Cuz I Love You” won Best Urban Contemporary Album, and song “Jerome” won Best Traditional R&B Performance; Lil Nas X, whose collaboration with Billy Ray Cyrus, “Old Town Road” won Best Pop Duo/Group Performance and the accompanying music video won Best Music Video; and Tyler, The Creator, whose album “Igor” won Best Rap Album.