“Spurious allegations claiming members or committees use our process to push forward nominations for artists they have relationships with are categorically false, misleading and wrong,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
Freimuth said it was the goal of the Recording Academy “to ensure the Grammy Awards process is led in a fair and ethical manner and that voting members make their choices based solely on the artistic excellence and technical merits of eligible recordings”.
Dugan was placed on immediate administrative leave on January 17, five months after taking the helm as the Recording Academy’s first female chief executive and president. The Academy said at the time that the move was in response to an allegation of misconduct made against her by a senior member of staff but did not give details.
Dugan responded by filing a complaint on Tuesday with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging gender discrimination, unlawful retaliation and unequal pay.
In the complaint, she described what she called a “boys’ club mentality” at the Recording Academy. Dugan also claimed that some members involved in the Grammy nominations process “push forward artists with whom they have relationships” and that in some cases musicians being considered for a nomination sit on the committee voting in their category.
Dugan took over as the Recording Academy chief from Neil Portnow, who in 2018 had provoked outrage by telling reporters that female artists and producers needed to “step up” if they wanted recognition in the music industry.