The Recording Academy has responded to recent allegations of irregularities in the nomination and voting process for the Grammy Awards, denying claims made by former Recording Academy President and CEO Deborah Dugan.

Interim President of the Recording Academy Harvey Mason, Jr., addressed Dugan's claims in a press release on Friday (Jan. 24), stating in part, "The accusations are deeply unsettling and are just not right. It's not fair to all the amazing artists who have won Grammy Awards in the past and the ones who will win them on Sunday. It's also not fair to the artists and other people in our music community who volunteer countless hours on committees reviewing nominations. Don't let anyone cheapen or take away from what you have achieved -- and what you give to the industry in your service."

Dugan was suddenly and unexpectedly placed on administrative leave at the end of last week amid rumors of misconduct. Subsequent reporting reveals that she has filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stating that her predecessor, Neil Portnow, “allegedly raped a female recording artist," which resulted in his contract not being renewed.

Dugan filed a formal complaint in December in which she alleged sexual harassment, voting irregularities in the Grammy Awards, self-dealing and conflicts of interest in the Recording Academy. She claims she was forced out in retaliation for her allegations.

The Recording Academy Task Force on Diversity and Inclusion has issued a statement expressing "shock and dismay at the allegations surrounding the Recording Academy and its leadership that surfaced this week." The task force is calling for the board of trustees to immediately implement 18 changes they suggested in December of 2019.

"To be clear, these are changes that need to be made at the highest levels and institutionalized so that they outlast any single leader," the statement reads.

Taylor Swift has reportedly canceled a surprise, unannounced performance she was going to give at the 2020 Grammy Awards on Sunday (Jan. 26), though it's not confirmed that her decision was in response to the controversy swirling around the Recording Academy.

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