• Grammys 2020: The winners list
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    USA TODAY Entertainment

    Grammys 2020: The winners list

    Who won big at the 62nd Annual Grammy Awards?

  • Former Grammys Chief Neil Portnow Blasts ‘False and Outrageous’ Rape Accusation in EEOC Complaint
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    The Wrap

    Former Grammys Chief Neil Portnow Blasts ‘False and Outrageous’ Rape Accusation in EEOC Complaint

    Neil Portnow, the former CEO of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences that oversees the Grammy Awards, is denying an accusation he raped an unnamed female recording artist, an allegation which was made in a discrimination complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission by ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan on Tuesday.In the complaint, Dugan, who replaced Portnow last May to become the first woman to lead the Recording Academy, said that Portnow “allegedly raped a female recording artist, which was, upon information and belief, the real reason his contract was not renewed.”“This document is filled with inaccurate, false and outrageous and terribly hurtful claims against me. Here is what is true: The allegations of rape are ludicrous, and untrue,” Portnow said in a statement obtained by TheWrap on Wednesday, the day after the complaint was filed. “The suggestion that there was is disseminating a lie. The baseless complaint about my conduct referenced in the EEOC filing was immediately brought to the attention of the Board of Director’s Executive Committee. An in-depth independent investigation by experienced and highly regarded lawyers was conducted and I was completely exonerated. There was no basis for the allegations and once again I deny them unequivocally.”Also Read: Recording Academy Lawyer Joel Katz Denies Deborah Dugan's Sexual Harassment Accusation“I fulfilled the terms and responsibilities of my contract during my 17 years as President and ultimately Chief Executive Officer,” he continued. “Consistent with my pledge to ensure that there would be the appropriate amount of time for the Academy to organize and execute an efficient and transparent transition, I determined far in advance of the Grammy telecast in 2018 that I would not seek a further extension of my contract scheduled to end July 31, 2019. I informed the then Board Chair and Executive Committee of my decision.”Dugan did not name the artist in her complaint or offer many details about when the alleged incident might have occurred. According to her complaint, Dugan learned of the accusation last May while attending a three-day meeting of the Academy’s Board at the Ritz Carlton, Laguna Niguel after taking the job. “Ms. Dugan was hauled into a conference room and told — for the very first time — that a foreign recording artist (and member of the Academy) had accused Mr. Portnow of raping her following a performance that she gave at Carnegie Hall,” the complaint states.In her complaint, Dugan said the accusation was presented to her as if the Board had just learned of it but “in reality, they were well aware of the allegation at the time Ms. Dugan agreed to take the CEO position, but never told her.” Dugan also said the Recording Academy pressured her into rehiring Portnow as a consultant for the “hefty sum of $750,000,” which she said she refused to do.Also Read: Grammy Drama: 7 Most Explosive Accusations by Ousted Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan“At no time did I ever demand a $750,000 consulting fee,” Portnow said in his statement Wednesday. “After making the ‘step up’ comment during the 2018 telecast, for which I have apologized and deeply regret the offense caused, and understanding the power of listening and lessons learned, I took action. I proposed, and the Academy created an independent Task Force to review the state of diversity & inclusion across the organization. After presenting the Task Force plan and proposed study of the organization to the board, the group was created to implement change. Task Force Chair Tina Tchen made a presentation to the full Board during a May 2019 meeting. The repetition of these falsehoods against me, and others referenced within the EEOC filing are a diversionary tactic and will not convert them to truth. I will vigorously defend all false claims made against me in this document. I would like to wish all the 2020 nominees and those in our creative community well and sincerely hope that they will celebrate their art and accomplishments this weekend at the GRAMMY Awards telecast and during the many Grammy Week events ahead.”Representatives for the Recording Academy and attorneys for Dugan did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment on Portnow’s statement Wednesday.Last week, Dugan was placed on administrative leave by the Academy’s executive committee, just days before the 2020 Grammys, which take place this Sunday.Interim boss Harvey Mason Jr. revealed in a letter that was sent to membership Monday that Dugan was being investigated following accusations of misconduct made by a staff member and was accused of creating a “toxic and intolerable” and “abusive and bullying” environment toward her staff.Also Read: Former Recording Academy Chief Neil Portnow Accused of Raping Female Recording ArtistThen Dugan, via the complaint filed by her attorneys Douglas Wigdor and Michael Willemin on Tuesday, accused the Recording Academy of voting irregularities, financial mismanagement and other conflicts of interest involving the Academy’s board members. That complaint also contained Dugan’s claims against Portnow and an accusation that Joel Katz, the general counsel for the Recording Academy, had sexually harassed her in a private meeting last year — an allegation he denies.The Recording Academy issued this statement in response to Dugan’s complaint:“It is curious that Ms. Dugan never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct’. When Ms. Dugan did raise her ‘concerns’ to HR, she specifically instructed HR ‘not to take any action’ in response. Nonetheless, we immediately launched independent investigations to review both Ms. Dugan’s potential misconduct and her subsequent allegations. Both of these investigations remain ongoing. Ms. Dugan was placed on administrative leave only after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organization. Our loyalty will always be to the 25,000 members of the recording industry. We regret that Music’s Biggest Night is being stolen from them by Ms. Dugan’s actions and we are working to resolve the matter as quickly as possible.”Read Dugan’s full EEOC complaint here.Read original story Former Grammys Chief Neil Portnow Blasts ‘False and Outrageous’ Rape Accusation in EEOC Complaint At TheWrap

  • Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan Out Following ‘Misconduct’ Accusation
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    The Wrap

    Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan Out Following ‘Misconduct’ Accusation

    Recording Academy president and CEO Deborah Dugan is out after less than a year on the job and less than two weeks before the group’s biggest event: the 2020 Grammy Awards.According to the Los Angeles Times, which first reported the news, Dugan stepped down entirely after the group’s board placed her on administrative leave to investigate “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.”“In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan on administrative leave, effective immediately,” the organization said in a internal memo first published in full by Variety.Also Read: Apple to Release 'The Banker' in March After Conclusion of Misconduct Review“The Board has also retained two independent third-party investigators to conduct independent investigations of the allegations. The Board determined this action to be necessary in order to restore the confidence of the Recording Academy’s Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators,” the memo continued. “Board Chair Harvey Mason Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO pending the conclusion of the investigation. The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.”Details about the accusation of misconduct have not been made public. Representatives for the Recording Academy did not immediately respond to a request for comment from TheWrap.Dugan was the first woman to serve in the Grammy Awards organization’s top job. She replaced Neil Portnow, who had served in the role since 2002 but stepped down in 2018 after an open letter from a group of female music executives called for his resignation. The group cited the lack of female representation at the 2018 Grammy Awards, and Portnow’s comments during the post-ceremony press conference where he said that women need to “step up” if they want to improve the gender imbalance in the music industry.Read original story Recording Academy CEO Deborah Dugan Out Following ‘Misconduct’ Accusation At TheWrap