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Lawsuit hits Grammy CEO Neil Portnov

The 66th Grammy nominations for 2024 were announced to the world on Nov. 11. Yet, behind the curtains was a scandal brewing on its own against the former head of the Grammy Awards, Neil Portnow on Nov. 8 as he was hit with a lawsuit of sexual assault. 

A woman who claimed Portnow drugged and raped her in a New York hotel room in 2018 sued Portnow. Portnow is said to have received several calls from the woman after the incident, and when he failed to respond, she emailed officials at the Recording Academy. Later, she even went as far as reporting him to the police. Yet, the police declined to prosecute. 

However, this is not the first scandal the Grammys had been involved in, then covered up, regarding cases of wronging and silencing women. 

After Portnow retired in 2019, Deborah Dugan, who had been hired as a change agent, became the replacement of Portnow. Soon after, the academy announced that she was abruptly removed from the position due to her mistreatment toward an employee. However, according to a discrimination complaint filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, she claimed that her removal was due to speaking up against the “sexual harassment, corrupt voting procedures and conflicts of interest among board members.”  

“After hearing about what happened behind the scenes, I’m not sure the [Grammy] awards will feel the same as it always did,” said Dyne Kim (10). “It’ll take some real reformations for the academy to make things right.”

With new artists being recognized and new awards being given out, the buzz surrounding the Grammys is greater than ever. Despite such new developments regarding the awards, this will not silence the misconduct that is still brewing behind the scenes of the Grammys. 

The award show will take place on Sunday, Feb. 4, at Arena in Los Angeles and air for viewing on the CBS Television Network. This year, the Grammys introduced three new categories to the awards: Best African Music Performance, Best Alternative Jazz Album, and Best Pop Dance Recording. Whether the allegations against Portnow will affect viewership remains to be seen.

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About the Contributor
Jiah Hwang, Reporter
Jiah Hwang is a sophomore at Tiger Times Online. In her free time, she loves to read books, especially historical fiction and fantasy. She also enjoys listening to music, drawing, and watching old movies. Feel free to ask her about book recommendations!

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