Recording Academy Interim CEO Says He ‘Feels Optimistic’ After Deborah Dugan Firing
On Monday, the day that the Recording Academy formally terminated Deborah Dugan, interim boss Harvey Mason Jr. sat with the Los Angeles Instances for his first interview because the group’s former president/CEO was abruptly — and controversially — positioned on administrative go away simply 10 days earlier than the Grammy Awards.
“We see this as a extremely unlucky set of circumstances,” he instructed the paper. “We all know it affected individuals, and we don’t take that without any consideration. However for us as a corporation, it’s a setback, and it’s not one thing that we’re going to spend a ton extra time and vitality on. We’re targeted on the longer term, and on reworking the Academy.
“That is one thing I began in Could after I got here in,” he continued. “I really feel actually good about among the steps we’ve taken to date, and I really feel very optimistic about the place we’re proper now and going ahead.”
Regardless of his claims of optimism, and regardless of the Academy’s unspecific citing of a “two exhaustive, pricey impartial investigations referring to Ms. Dugan and the allegations made in opposition to her and by her,” there’s little query that the Academy is constant to reel from the largest scandal in its historical past. Dugan, who was positioned on go away on Jan. 16 amid obscure accusations of “misconduct” towards an worker sources say was her former assistant, fiercely disputed the Academy’s model of occasions in a authorized grievance and a number of other statements, which accuse the group of a number of situations of misconduct, together with improprieties within the Grammy voting process, “egregious conflicts of curiosity, improper self-dealing by Board members… and a ‘boys’ membership’ mentality”; “exorbitant” authorized charges paid to exterior legislation corporations; and that lawyer Joel Katz, an Academy govt affiliated with a kind of legislation corporations, tried to “woo” and kiss her.
Her grievance additionally introduced forth an accusation that her predecessor, Neil Portnow, raped an unnamed feminine artist; Portnow later admitted the accusation however mentioned he was exonerated after a third-party investigation. Sources have instructed Selection that Dugan’s ouster was extra of a “coup” by executives and officers on the Academy, who felt threatened by her agenda for change within the group and disapproved of her administration fashion.
COPYRIGHT_BP: Published on https://bingepost.com/recording-academy-interim-ceo-says-he-feels-optimistic-after-deborah-dugan-firing/50185/ by Cecilia Jones on 2020-03-03T15:13:37.000Z
Whereas the Academy has doubled down on its strongly worded feedback about Dugan’s “habits” and claims there have been “a number of” staffers who got here ahead, it has supplied no specifics. Dugan and her lawyer once more contested the Academy’s model of occasions after her termination was made public on Monday; a rep for the Academy declined Selection’s request for particulars in regards to the investigations, saying solely, “ “Once more, these allegations are false, as confirmed out by impartial investigation which discovered them to be precisely that. Making the allegations once more doesn’t make them true.”
Mason was equally obscure in his interview with the Instances. Requested how quickly he expects to call Dugan’s alternative, he mentioned, “as quickly as attainable.” As as to whether they’re looking for one other feminine chief govt — which many felt was vital, given former Grammy chief Neil Portnow’s 2018 assertion that feminine musicians and executives have to “step up” so as to advance within the business —Mason mentioned, “For us the emphasis is on discovering an incredible CEO. The at first precedence can be interviewing a various and inclusive slate of candidates.”
Within the wake of the racial and gender imbalances laid naked by Portnow’s remark, the Academy shaped a Process Pressure for Inclusion and Variety, headed by Michelle Obama’s former chief of employees, Tina Tchen. The Process Pressure filed its a strongly-worded 47-page report figuring out a number of areas for enchancment on the in December — which recognized a number of areas the place the Academy lacks range — however issued an announcement in January saying ti was “shocked and dismayed” by Dugan’s allegations and demanded that the Academy implement its suggestions “with none delay.” It mentioned it might reconvene in 90 days — mid-April — and expects to listen to progress.
Mason mentioned he’s assembly with Tchen this month. The accusations introduced in opposition to the Academy over the previous two years have “given us an opportunity to examine a whole lot of issues in regards to the academy,” Mason mentioned. “We’re making substantive enhancements to every little thing we’re doing.”
Requested in regards to the occasions of the previous two months, he concluded, “I suppose I noticed a bit little bit of one thing coming — however not this. I ran for chair as a result of I’ve been concerned within the academy for 12 or 13 years, and I felt we may do some issues in another way. We would have liked to be extra consultant of the completely different genres and other people making music. And I used to be excited that Deb was coming in with that very same mindset. My entire goal in being right here from Day One was to make it possible for we have been evolving as an academy, and this CEO difficulty is just not distracting me from that.”