Page Six is spilling some insider dirt on the behind-the-scenes shitstorm known as The Grammys. Apparently the first-ever female boss of the Recording Academy (who runs The Grammys) is involved in some major drama. It seems that Deborah Dugan was fired from her gig and it’s either because The Academy is a boys club trying to frame her, or because she’s a sociopath who thought she could shake them down for millions. Who to believe? …Really, though, who? I feel like both are super possible in Hollywood.
First, there’s the side that claims Deborah is being unfairly framed and this was a set up. Deborah allegedly wrote a “bombshell memo” where she made a bunch of allegations against the company including “sketchy voting practices, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.” About The Grammys? This isn’t the 2020 Election–who cares if all the white people in The Academy keep voting for exclusively men? Like, then why is it prestigious? It’s a bronzed statue–buy one at the store.
Deborah was then put “on leave” and they said it was because of allegations of misconduct against her, saying:
“A formal allegation of misconduct [was made against her] by a senior female [staff] member.”
But her camp claims this is bullshit, with sources saying the complainant was an assistant who Deborah inherited from the last boss, and was making up lies of her “bullying”. Sources say this allegation came three weeks after Deborah sent the “bombshell memo”. An insider said:
“Is the Recording Academy trying to shut up people who want to speak about their experience with the truth of sexual harassment, financial impropriety and [improper] insider benefits? …Are they enforcing a confidentiality agreement where someone [can’t] speak their truth? This is so sad–[the Academy is] a boys’ club.”
Debs hired attorney Bryan Freedman–who is also representing Miss Gabrielle Union in her NBC shitstorm–and he says that the real drama hasn’t even come out yet:
“What has been reported [in the press] is not nearly the story that needs to be told. 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.”
Welp, Page Six says the story gets weirder. In response to all that drama, the Academy is now internally saying that Deborah was fired for being a bully psycho and also an extortionist. In a leaked memo (is it a “leak” if you have an assistant BCC Page Six?) Harvey Mason Jr.–who is the interim CEO of the Academy (I feel like it’s some YA superhero school)–addressed the drama. He wrote:
“In November of 2019, the executive committee became aware of abusive work environment complaints alleged against Ms. Dugan… [Then in December] a letter was sent from an attorney representing a staff member that included additional detailed and serious allegations of a “toxic and intolerable” and “abusive and bullying” environment created by Ms. Dugan towards the staff… After we received the employee complaints against Ms. Dugan, she then (for the first time) made allegations against the Academy… Ms. Dugan’s attorney then informed the executive committee that if Ms. Dugan was paid millions of dollars, she would “withdraw” her allegations and resign…. I’m deeply disturbed and saddened by the “leaks” and misinformation, which are fueling a press campaign designed to create leverage against the Academy for personal gain.”
Reps for both Deborah and the Academy declined to comment to Page Six. And even more dramatic than all this–other extortion plots against prominent awards have leaked. Did you know in 2016 Leonardo DiCaprio sent a hand-written note to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences saying:
“I almost got raped by a bear. We’re doing this–OR ELSE.”
Hollywood is shady!