Deborah Dugan, the suspended chief of the Recording Academy, the organization behind the Grammy Awards, said in a complaint to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission on Tuesday that she had been removed as retaliation for uncovering a range of misconduct at the academy, including sexual harassment, improper voting procedures and conflicts of interest among academy board members.
Ms. Dugan’s 44-page complaint details her clash with a number of powerful men at the academy during her tenure of just five months. But her accusations also represent an indictment of the academy itself, which has struggled to reform its reputation after coming under harsh criticism for its poor record recognizing women and people of color in the major categories.
The document, filed with the E.E.O.C.’s Los Angeles office and technically called a charge of discrimination, alleges that Ms. Dugan’s predecessor, Neil Portnow, had been accused of rape by an artist, and that the academy’s board had been asked to approve a bonus for him even though all of its members had not been told about the accusation. The complaint has little detail about the accusation, but said that a psychiatrist had said that the encounter was “likely not consensual.”
It also says that Ms. Dugan herself had received unwanted sexual advances from Joel Katz, a powerful industry lawyer who represents the Grammys.
Mr. Portnow, who has not been charged with a crime, did not respond to a telephone message seeking comment on Tuesday, and Mr. Katz did not respond to an email requesting comment.
The various forms of behavior, Ms. Dugan’s complaint says, was “all made possible by the ‘boys’ club’ mentality and approach to governance at the Academy.”
In response, the academy said in a statement: “It is curious that Ms. Dugan never raised these grave allegations until a week after legal claims were made against her personally by a female employee who alleged Ms. Dugan had created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct.’”
The academy said that investigations into Ms. Dugan’s conduct and the allegations she raised were ongoing, and that she “was placed on administrative leave only after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organization.”
In her complaint, Ms. Dugan called the academy’s claim that she had demanded a $22 million settlement “flat out false.”
Ms. Dugan, 61, who took over as the chief executive of the academy in August after eight years with Red, the nonprofit co-founded by Bono of U2 that works to combat AIDS and other diseases in Africa, also says in her complaint the academy’s voting procedures are rife with irregularities that seemed to steer nominations to artists affiliated with board members.
For many of its award categories, the academy convenes committees of experts, including artists, to review the nominations pool and whittle down the choices to meet the number of slots on the ballot.
According to the complaint, the nominating committee, when finalizing the ballot for the 2019 award for song of the year, for example, chose as one of its eight final nominees a song that had initially ranked 18 out of 20. The artist behind that song, the complaint alleges, was allowed to sit on the committee and was also represented by a board member.
The complaint also says that the committees can add artists to the ballot who had not first been chosen by the general voting pool. For this year’s awards, it says, 30 such artists were “added to the possible nomination list.”
Ms. Dugan’s ouster last Thursday — just 10 days before the 62nd annual Grammy ceremony on Sunday — stunned the music industry in what is usually its glitziest moment in the national media spotlight. It also threatened the academy’s carefully curated message of reform.
The academy placed Ms. Dugan on administrative leave after what it said was “a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team.”
That allegation, according to Ms. Dugan’s complaint, was made by a former assistant to Mr. Portnow, who had remained attached to Ms. Dugan until she hired her own aide. After finding the work of this assistant unsatisfactory, Ms. Dugan offered her a new position, but she refused it and took a leave of absence, the complaint said. Eventually a lawyer for the assistant sent the academy a letter accusing Ms. Dugan of “being a bully,” as Ms. Dugan’s complaint puts it.
By that point, Ms. Dugan’s complaint says, the academy’s board had begun to strip her of some of her powers. Harvey Mason Jr., a record producer who is the board chairman, sent Ms. Dugan a letter on Dec. 9, informing her that she was no longer permitted to terminate staff members without board approval, and could not assign any new initiatives or choose any outside counsel for the academy’s legal work.
On Dec. 22, Ms. Dugan sent a memo to the academy’s top human resources officer detailing her concerns, and two days later a lawyer representing her notified the academy that she “intended to pursue legal claims,” according to the complaint filed on Tuesday.
In an interview with The New York Times before Ms. Dugan’s complaint was filed, Mr. Mason and Christine Albert, the academy’s board emeritus, said they were committed to changing the organization but that Ms. Dugan had been moving too fast, had not taken the time to understand how the organization functioned, and disrespected the staff by not listening to their opinions.
“What we expected was change without chaos,” Ms. Albert said.
Ms. Dugan’s complaint argues that the assistant’s complaint was a mere pretext for dismissing Ms. Dugan after she reported problems at the academy and challenged the close business ties between the organization and two law firms that perform the bulk of its legal work, yielding millions of dollars in fees each year.
In her complaint, Ms. Dugan said that these problems began even before she took her place at the academy.
Last May, the complaint says, after Ms. Dugan had been selected for the job and signed an employment contract, Mr. Katz invited her to a private dinner the night before a board meeting. At that dinner, as Ms. Dugan wrote in her memo to human resources, which was attached to her E.E.O.C. complaint as an exhibit, Mr. Katz ordered “an outlandishly expensive bottle of wine,” commented repeatedly on her appearance, called her “baby,” and invited her to travel with him on his private plane to his many homes.
She said she told him she was not interested but he attempted to kiss her anyway. “Needless to say,” she wrote, “I found his behavior disconcerting and utterly inappropriate.”
At their dinner, Ms. Dugan wrote, she also pointed out to Mr. Katz that she wanted to hire an in-house lawyer to help bring its legal costs down.
The New York Times interviewed a colleague of Ms. Dugan’s who said that Ms. Dugan had recounted the dinner in detail the next day and then continued to report further inappropriate behavior by Mr. Katz after that point.
The complaint includes a brief response to Ms. Dugan’s memo from the academy’s human resources officer, which says that Ms. Dugan identified “serious issues that need to be investigated.”
“Your conclusion that it is necessary to make these concerns known,” wrote the human resources officer, Shonda Grant, “is an accurate one and one that cannot be ignored.”
The E.E.O.C. has the power to investigate complaints and seek reforms or penalties if it concludes an employer has discriminated against an employee. If the commission finds no discrimination occurred or it declines to investigate, the employee can pursue her case by filing a lawsuit against the employer.
What a Man Wants … to Wear
Gabriela Hearst likes to say that she wouldn’t be a fashion designer if she didn’t understand the subtle ways in which a female body can shape-shift over the course of a day — how a woman’s waist, for example, can fluctuate in size between morning and evening. That may sound like a surprisingly unglamorous concern for a luxury clothing brand, but Hearst’s namesake label, which she founded in New York City in 2015, is remarkable not only for its attention to high-level craft and luxurious materials — including merino wool sheared from sheep reared on the 17,000-acre ranch she inherited in 2011 from her father in her native Uruguay — but also for her minute focus on how her clothes, whether a figure-skimming, graphic-printed knit dress or an ankle-length trench, make women feel. As Hearst, 43, sees it, “It’s an upside to be a woman designing for women.”
How, then, does she approach her latest undertaking — designing clothes for men? In May of last year, Hearst presented a small pre-fall men’s collection of chunky speckled wool sweaters and slate gray tailoring, and in July, she followed with a 23-style resort offering of lightweight powder-blue and putty-colored suiting, as well as crew-neck knits in off-kilter pastel shades like faded butter yellow or dusty lilac. Though many of the pieces are crafted by a family-owned tailoring company in Parma, Italy, and though there are sporty elements (an ivory cashmere polo shirt, a suede bomber jacket the color of wet sand), they don’t fall neatly into either of the two major categories that define contemporary men’s clothing: streetwear and suiting. Rather, Hearst’s collections offer considered, well-crafted everyday clothes for modern professional men — a niche filled by Jil Sander in the late 1990s and rarely since. A collaborator in the venture is the British graphic designer Peter Miles, whom Hearst has been working with since he created the brand’s logo six years ago, and whose personal style she has long admired. “There’s an ease to the way he dresses — and an elegance, but it’s not pompous or ostentatious,” Hearst says. Still, though Miles provides occasional knowledge of the technical details of men’s clothing (he has been a client of the same Spitalfields tailor since 1993) and can offer feedback from a wearer’s perspective, Hearst relies heavily on her imagination.
Designing garments for someone unlike yourself — “it’s a different psychology,” Hearst says — turns out to be a more complex exercise in empathy. This is of course very nearly the same imaginative leap that myriad male designers who create clothes for women have been making for the past century. Women may be relied upon to do much of the handwork in ateliers, but the majority of people who have really determined the way we dress — with major exceptions, including Coco Chanel, Miuccia Prada, Donatella Versace and Rei Kawakubo — have been men: Cristóbal Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Yves Saint Laurent, Christian Lacroix, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Giorgio Armani, Marc Jacobs, Nicolas Ghesquière, Riccardo Tisci and Karl Lagerfeld among them. It’s a persistent disparity. In 2017, 85 percent of the students enrolled at New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology were female, but in 2015, only 14 percent of major clothing brands had a woman at their head, according to a Business of Fashion survey. Though fashion, like so many industries, is beginning to reckon with the consequences of longstanding and deep-rooted gender imbalance, female designers are still in the minority, and women making clothes for men are a rarity.
Yet Hearst is not the only female designer at the head of an established women’s wear label to have delved into the male psyche — Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen of the Row launched men’s lines in 2016, 2017 and 2018, respectively. Clare Waight Keller, the artistic director at Givenchy — which has done men’s ready-to-wear since 1969 — introduced men’s looks to the brand’s couture collections in 2018. These designers join a group of women who began their careers in men’s wear, among them Grace Wales Bonner and Emily Bode, and one could argue that, between the lot of them, much of what a certain sort of man most wants to wear now is being designed by women. This shift comes at a time when people are especially aware of how rigid notions of gender can prove harmful, making the question: How, in 2020, can we create clothes for men that feel timeless without reinforcing regressive ideals of masculinity? Hearst often envisions she’s designing for someone who is part wind-swept gaucho and part well-heeled urban journalist — a blend of her rancher father and her husband’s father, the New York newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst Jr. — but also someone whose self-regard is not impervious. In a 2005 article in The New York Times, Tom Ford was quoted as saying, “Of course there are many more gay male designers. I think we are more objective. We don’t come with the baggage of hating certain parts of our bodies.” Hearst, on the other hand, feels strongly that insecurity is not an affliction unique to women. “I hope they make him feel good and confident,” she says of how she wants her garments to comfort their wearer, adding, “because we know what an insecure man is.”
While Savile Row tailors traditionally stitch buttons inside the waistband of trousers to allow a wearer to adjust their size, Hearst learned from her husband, the media executive Austin Hearst (who was also the brand’s first male fit model), that belt loops enable a more flattering cinch. “He told me the belt acts like a girdle for men,” she says. She also landed on a high rise on her flat-front wool formal pants so as to flatter the waist, and she likes to temper the stern lines of a suit with a midnight blue pullover or navy knit polo shirt.
This sort of thinking suggests that the very act of a woman offering up a fantasy of manhood in an arena dominated by male fantasies of women can be a revelatory gesture. If men’s ideas about how a woman should dress have at times felt constrictive — “He doesn’t dress women, he upholsters them,” Coco Chanel once said of Christian Dior, whose postwar wasp-waisted New Look shapes heralded a return to more traditional female silhouettes after the liberating advent of women’s trousers — the impulses of the women currently at the forefront of men’s wear are by contrast generous and freeing. Waight Keller’s couture collections use finishes long associated with women’s wear (sequins, delicate floral embroidery) that encourage men to experiment with new identities, and at the Row, the Olsen sisters are creating men’s suiting so sublimely minimal it is almost self-effacing, as though its wearer has more cerebral concerns than tailoring. Similarly, Hearst says that her ideal customer is, above all, a man with “a modern brain,” someone who is engaged with the issues of our time, such as climate change — the brand exclusively uses biodegradable packaging — and dissolving gender lines altogether. If men have historically designed for women as they think they ought to be, these women are designing for men as they hope they might be.
Models: Yvens Mendes at Next Management, Romaine Dixon at Soul Artist Management and Mo M’Bengué at Heroes Model Management. Casting director: AM Casting Paris. Grooming: Adam Szabo at Frank Reps. Location: The 1896, Brooklyn. Tailoring: Leroy Gough at Lars Nord Studio. Photo assistant: Matt Baffa. Grooming assistant: Ryo Kuramoto. Stylist’s assistant: Jameson Montgomery.
C.D.C. Officials Warn of Coronavirus Outbreaks in the U.S.
Federal health officials starkly warned on Tuesday that the new coronavirus will almost certainly spread in the United States, and that hospitals, businesses and schools should begin making preparations.
“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen anymore but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said in a news briefing.
She said that cities and towns should plan for “social distancing measures,” like dividing school classes into smaller groups of students or closing schools altogether. Meetings and conferences may have to be canceled, she said. Businesses should arrange for employees to work from home.
“We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad,” Dr. Messonnier said.
Shortly after the news conference, stock markets plummeted for the second day as investors dumped stocks and turned to the safety of government bonds. The S&P 500 fell by more than 3 percent, following a 3.4 percent slide on Monday — the worst day for the American markets since February 2018.
In contrast to his own health officials, President Trump, traveling in India, played down the threat, saying, “You may ask about the coronavirus, which is very well under control in our country.”
“We have very few people with it, and the people that have it are, in all cases, I have not heard anything other — the people are getting better, they’re all getting better.”
As of Tuesday, the United States has just 57 cases, 40 of them connected to the Diamond Princess, the cruise ship overwhelmed by the coronavirus after it docked in Japan. Those patients are in isolation in hospitals, and there are no signs of sustained transmission in American communities.
But given the outbreaks in more than two dozen countries, officials at the C.D.C. seemed convinced that the virus’s spread in the United States was inevitable, although they did not know whether the impact would be mild or severe.
“We cannot hermetically seal off the United States to a virus,” Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, told a Senate panel on Tuesday. “And we need to be realistic about that.”
Globally, public health officials are confronting a multipronged threat. China’s battle to contain the epidemic has shown signs of success, with a plunge in the rate of new infections.
But this has been overshadowed by new clusters of infections in Iran, South Korea and Italy. The emergence of these new hubs underscored the lack of a coordinated global strategy to combat the coronavirus, which has infected nearly 80,000 people in 37 countries, causing at least 2,600 deaths.
By Tuesday, South Korea had reported a total of 893 cases, the second most in the world. The C.D.C. on Monday warned Americans not to travel there.
Of the 60 new cases reported by South Korea’s federal health agency, 49 came from Daegu, the city at the center of the country’s outbreak.
In Iran, a spike in coronavirus infections — including to the top health official in charge of fighting the disease — has prompted fears the contagion may spread throughout the Middle East. In Italy, one of Europe’s largest economies, officials are struggling to prevent the epidemic from paralyzing the commercial center of Milan.
Keenly aware that the virus has the potential to wreak havoc in the United States, lawmakers from both the Democratic and the Republican parties grilled Mr. Azar and other members of the administration at the Senate hearing, apparently unconvinced that the Trump administration was prepared for the outbreak that the C.D.C. is forecasting.
Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, grew exasperated when the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Chad F. Wolf, could not say how many people were expected to become infected.
“I’m all for committees and task forces, but you’re the secretary,” Mr. Kennedy responded. “I think you ought to know that answer.”
The administration officials overseeing the response to a coronavirus outbreak told lawmakers that the initial funding requested by the White House — $1.25 billion in new funds and $1.25 billion taken from other programs — would most likely be just a first round.
Mr. Azar said that there were 30 million N95 masks, respirators best suited to guarding against viruses that typically cost less than $1 apiece, in the nation’s emergency stockpile.
Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington, asked the health secretary whether he thought the United States currently had enough health masks in stock.
“Of course not,” he responded, “or else we wouldn’t be asking for more.” Health care workers may need 300 million masks in the event of an outbreak, he added.
Mr. Azar said he was alarmed by the human-to-human transmission of the virus in other parts of the world without an identifiable connection to confirmed cases, and what that could mean for how the virus may spread in the United States.
But other federal health officials were trying to tamp down concerns.
“You need to do nothing different than you’re already doing,” Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a news briefing.
Federal officials were only trying to tell Americans that if an outbreak occurs, he added, “these are the kinds of things you want to think of.”
Larry Kudlow, director of the National Economic Council, declared on CNBC that the coronavirus had been “contained” and would not do serious harm to the economy.
“I don’t think it’s going to be an economic tragedy at all,” Mr. Kudlow said.
Preparations to respond to a potential outbreak have begun, government officials said, but are far from complete.
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It still is difficult to diagnose the infection. The C.D.C. performs most of the testing, and samples must be sent from state and local laboratories to the agency in Atlanta, a process that takes days.
The C.D.C. had manufactured diagnostic kits to be used by state and local labs, but the kits turned out to be flawed. Replacements have not yet been distributed.
While the nation’s hospitals have had to handle only a few dozen cases to date, many are ramping up efforts to prepare for a widespread outbreak.
“We’ve been planning for this for weeks and weeks now,” said Dr. Michael S. Phillips, an infectious disease expert and chief epidemiologist at NYU Langone Health System in New York City.
Hospital officials were assuming the efforts to contain the virus would delay, not prevent, a pandemic — sustained transmission of the coronavirus on more than one continent.
“We are really staging it, from a minor issue of small numbers of patients, to a full-blown community spread,” said Dr. Mark Jarrett, the chief quality officer at Northwell Health, which operates 23 hospitals on Long Island and elsewhere in New York.
Hospital administrators nationwide anticipate a wave of patients that could strain their intensive care units and isolation rooms. Many are starting to conserve medical supplies, including specialized masks and ventilators.
“It is a special concern that there is a shortage, a worldwide shortage, of personal protective equipment,” said Nancy Foster, a vice president of the American Hospital Association.
Many hospitals say they are also planning to treat as many patients outside their facilities, using telemedicine to care for people with mild symptoms at home.
“We have surge plans to go broader and broader — and if it gets broader, tents,” said Dr. Susan Huang, medical director of infection prevention at the University of California, Irvine Health System. “The hope for containment is rapidly fading.”
The epidemic in China also has threatened supplies of some drugs and medical devices that hospitals rely on.
The Food and Drug Administration has been monitoring supplies of about 20 important drugs that are manufactured in China or depend on ingredients made only there, including such common drugs as aspirin, ibuprofen and penicillin.
Chinese factories are slowly reopening, officials said, although transportation remains a challenge because truck drivers face quarantines or are not allowed into certain cities.
Despite the early hospital preparations, there is no vaccine or treatment for the coronavirus, and communities and individuals should prepare other means of protecting themselves.
Individually, people can take the measures recommended for other infectious diseases, like washing their hands, covering their mouths when they cough, and staying home and away from others when they are sick.
The World Health Organization said that the pace of confirmed new cases in China, which exceeded 2,000 a day a month ago, had dropped steadily, to a low of 508 on Monday.
The severe measures imposed by the Chinese authorities to isolate patients and the hardest-hit areas had likely prevented hundreds of thousands of additional infections, the W.H.O. officials added.
But W.H.O. officials have also warned that the world is unprepared for a leap in infections, which could overwhelm medical resources in many countries. They also cautioned that new cases could suddenly resurge in China, as the government struggles to get people back to work.
And there are persistent doubts about the accuracy of infection figures reported by the Chinese government, raising the possibility that the true magnitude of the outbreak remains underreported.
Rick Gladstone and Reed Abelson contributed reporting from New York; Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Emily Cochrane and Deborah Solomon from Washington; Matt Richtel from San Francisco; and Katie Thomas from Chicago.
Disney C.E.O. Bob Iger Steps Aside, Ending 15-Year Run at Top
“Chapek is a really good, no-brainer pick — the other division leaders have been there too short of a time,” Michael Nathanson, a media analyst and founding partner at MoffettNathanson, said in a phone interview. “He’s a really nice person who is part of the Disney culture, which is important.” Other candidates to succeed Mr. Iger included Kevin A. Mayer, chairman of Disney’s direct-to-consumer and international division, and Peter Rice, chairman of Walt Disney Television.
Since taking over as chief executive in 2005, Mr. Iger has led Disney to record financial results, even in the face of economic downturns, the occasional horrendous movie write-off and changing consumer habits that dented ESPN, the company’s longtime profit engine. Last year, Mr. Iger completed a $71.3 billion acquisition that gave Disney the bulk of Rupert Murdoch’s media empire, substantially altering the entertainment landscape. Mr. Iger then oversaw the successful introduction of Disney Plus.
The downside to that success? Nobody seemed to measure up, complicating succession at a company that has a history of bumpy transfers of power. Mr. Iger’s predecessor, Michael D. Eisner, tried to cling to his job, resulting in him eventually turning over a company that was struggling.
One internal candidate to succeed Mr. Iger, the well-regarded Thomas O. Staggs, abruptly left Disney in 2016 after losing the unqualified support of Mr. Iger and some other board members. Since then, Disney has been engaged in a quiet hunt for a successor.
Even among media conglomerates, Disney has a unique mix of businesses, some of which are healthier than others. The company’s movie studio is widely regarded as the strongest in Hollywood and the Disney theme parks are delivering record profits. But the company’s vast consumer products division has been in decline, and Disney’s television operation, which includes ABC, Disney Channel and Freeform, has been struggling with ratings weakness and a lack of breakout shows. Now it has entered the streaming era with Disney Plus, which has started strong but will lose money for the coming years as Disney spends billions of dollars on original content and technological infrastructure.
Mr. Iger started his entertainment career at ABC in 1974. Disney has no mandatory retirement age for chief executives; the company’s mandatory retirement age for board members is 74.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
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