Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan Suspended Amid Misconduct Allegation

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The Grammy awards have often caused controversy and it seems like this year may be no different.

Less than two weeks before the 2020 Grammy Awards, CEO of the Recording Academy Deborah Dugan has been suspended from her role, the Recording Academy said in a statement to E! News. “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 message began. “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 Academys Membership, repair Recording Academy employee morale, and allow the Recording Academy to focus on its mission of serving all music creators,” the statement continued. “The Recording Academy Board of Trustees is committed to fostering a safe, diverse, and inclusive workplace, music industry, and society.”

Throughout the investigation, board chair Harvey Mason Jr. will serve as interim President and CEO. 

Dugan took charge of the Recording Academy in August 2019, making her the first female president and CEO of the music organization. Following her suspension, Dugan’s attorney released a statement denies any wrongdoing. “What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told,” Bryan J. Freedman said. “When our ability to speak is not restrained by a 28-page contract and legal threats, we will expose what happens when you ‘step up’ at the Recording Academy, a public nonprofit.”

In the meantime, the show must go on. And, like in years past, it’s guaranteed to be a great one. Lizzo leads the pack with eight nominations and Alicia Keys will return as host for the second year in a row. Meanwhile, Ariana GrandeDemi LovatoBlake SheltonGwen Stefani, Camila Cabello and The Jonas Brothers will take the stage to perform. 

Watch E!’s Live From the Red Carpet 2020 Grammy Awards coverage Sunday, Jan. 26 starting at 4 p.m. ET/1 p.m. PT followed by the Grammys telecast at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT on CBS. And for a recap of music’s biggest night immediately following the show, don’t miss the E! After Party special at 11:30 p.m. ET/8:30 p.m. PT, only on E!

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