Former Grammy CEO Deborah Dugan has filed a discrimination lawsuit to the EEOC, alleging that she was sexually harassed by the general counsel to the Academy and placed on administrative leave for expressing other concerns about the Grammys. 

According to Rolling Stone, Dugan detailed the allegations in the lawsuit after originally sending her complaint in an email to the Academy’s head of human resources on December 22.

The lawsuit, filed last Tuesday, brought sexual harassment accusations against Joel Katz. The complaint also added allegations against the Academy for “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 ‘boys’ club’ mentality and approach to governance at the Academy.” 

Dugan said Katz harassed her at a one-on-one dinner in May where he allegedly referred to her as “baby” and commented on her appearance several times. The complaint adds that Katz told Dugan “traveling to my many homes could be something nice for us to share.” 

The former CEO also mentioned former Grammys CEO Neil Portnow in her complaint, saying he was accused of rape by a “foreign recording artist.” Dugan said the board told her about the accusation after she accepted the CEO position, although they had known for a while.  

Dugan was placed on administrative after an alleged misconduct complaint, Rolling Stone reported.  

After Dugan filed her lawsuit, a former assistant in the Academy was reportedly preparing to sue the former CEO for “an untenable situation in the executive offices that included verbal abuse and mistreatment.” 

Filing the discrimination lawsuit, Dugan accused The Grammy Awards of showing "a lack of diversity with respect to the winners of the most prestigious awards."

"These awards rarely go to rap and contemporary R&B stars, including widely acclaimed artists like Beyonce, Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem and Mariah Carey," Dugan stated in her lawsuit. "While those acts have won in the rap and R&B categories, when it comes to the most coveted prizes such as Album, Song and Record of the Year, the winners tend to be in the rock, country and pop genres."

According to the complaint, only 10 Black artists have won Album of the Year, and the first to win the award was Outkast's SpeakerBoxxx/ The Love Below in 2004.

"The Recording Academy has routinely faced criticism for failing to honor Black artists," the lawsuit states. "For instance, critics have pointed out that even the best Rap Album category tends to favor white artists, with Eminem taking the award seven times and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis's album beating out what many regard as superior releases from Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Kanye West in 2014."

The lawsuit references the 2012 Grammys when Mumford & Sons took Album of the Year instead of Frank Ocean's album Channel Orange. The complaint also mentions the 2017 controversy in which Adele's album 25 beat out Beyoncé's Lemonade for Album of the Year.

Adding to her case, Dugan said Drake and Dua Lipa were cut off during their acceptance speeches in 2019 because they were criticizing the Academy. 

According to NPR, The Academy changed its method of recruiting new voting members in 2018 in an effort to widen the organization's demographics after facing criticism for lack of diversity.