Suspended Grammys Boss Claims Nomination Process Is 'Rigged'

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The chief executive of the Recording Academy claims the Grammy nominating process is “rigged” and “tainted” by conflicts of interest.

Deborah Dugan, who was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into complaints of misconduct, said this week she has proof of “serious” irregularities in the voting system.

In a 44-page complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Dugan described the Grammys as a “boys’ club” and alleged that votes are manipulated by “secret committees.”

One artist she declined to identity made the Song of the Year shortlist instead of artists like Ed Sheeran and Ariana Grande because they and their rep were members of the nominating committee.

“It's mostly white males that are in those rooms that make these decisions, and there's a conflict of interest,” Dugan told CBS This Morning. “If you represent that artist, you have a financial gain if they get nominated for a Grammy.”

Asked if the process is rigged, she replied: “Yes it is.”

In an interview with NBC News, Dugan said: "If there are certain artists that the producer would like [to perform] on the show, there are strong hints, influence, that might affect a select few in the nominating process.”

The Recording Academy fired back. “The Academy has rigorous and well-publicized protocols in place to ensure that voting is absolutely fair — and free of conflicts of interest,” read a statement. “For Ms. Dugan to suggest anything to the contrary is simply not true.”

Dugan's statements have cast a shadow over this year's show, which will be broadcast live on Sunday. Canadians up for Grammys include Daniel Caesar, Shawn Mendes, Michael Bublé, Drake, Jessie Reyez and Northern Cree. Click here for the full nominations list.