A champagne brand has pulled out of sponsoring the upcoming Grammys, after the Recording Academy removed their first ever female boss from her post less than two weeks before this year’s ceremony.
Earlier this week, it was reported that Recording Academy president Deborah Dugan had been placed on “administrative leave”, following an allegation of misconduct.
The news was confirmed on Thursday, 10 days before this year’s Grammys, with Dugan’s lawyer later issuing a statement suggesting the public had not heard the full story.
“What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told,” the statement read. “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.”
Since then, Champagne Billecart-Salmon has announced they are withdrawing their sponsorship of the Grammys, specifically naming the removal of Deborah Dugan as their reason.
Geoffrey Loisel of Champagne Billecart-Salmon said (via Billboard): “I have worked with Deb Dugan for many years going back to when she was CEO of (Red).
“She is a person with high ethical standards and has always been the utmost professional in our business dealings. Given what has been reported in the news reports, I feel very uncomfortable continuing to support the Grammys at this time. As a result, Champagne Billecart-Salmon is pulling its sponsorship.”
Dugan was appointed the president of the Recording Academy after Neil Portnow left the post.
His exit came after a wave of controversy, which saw him suggest in 2018 that female artists needed to “step up” if they wanted to be nominated for Grammys, following a particularly male-heavy year.
This year’s Grammys are set to take place in Los Angeles on Sunday 26 January, with Alicia Keys on hosting duties for the second year in a row.
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Just behind her are fellow rising stars Lil Nas X and Billie Eilish, both of whom are on six nominations.