Arts & Entertainment | February 14, 2020 10:07 am

Recording Academy President Provides Update on Grammys Scandal

Harvey Mason Jr. sent a memo to voting members


Yesterday (Feb. 13), the Recording Academy provided its first update to members since the Grammys earlier this month. Interim president Harvey Mason Jr. sent a memo to voting members that was obtained by Vulture addressing the allegations made by ousted CEO Deborah Dugan and noting that she remains on administrative leave.

Mason’s memo says that the Recording Academy has offered to waive confidentiality during their arbitration process and notes that a search for her permanent replacement won’t begin until their dispute is resolved. It also addresses Dugan’s allegation of sexual harassment by Recording Academy general counsel Joel Katz, saying, “we take that allegation very seriously,” and noting that they have hired a law firm to independently investigate Dugan’s claim.

Mason also notes that the Academy will implement the 17 recommendations made by their diversity and inclusion task force. “We will do our best to think about every loophole and caveat, and develop safeguards to maintain integrity in the process,” he wrote. “The suggestion that Deb was hindered by the Academy’s resistance to change is simply untrue, and we are continuing on the path of change even during this time.”

He also sent a separate letter to Academy leadership, where he wrote, “It is difficult to read unfair criticism of the Academy in the media, but our reticence to respond should not be misinterpreted. We are confident that when we are able to share all the facts, our members, the industry, and the public will understand that all our actions have been appropriate and in the interest of making progress towards our shared goals of diversity, inclusion, and our mission to recognize musical excellence, advocate for the well-being of music makers, and ensure that music remains an indelible part of our culture.”

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