Sean “Diddy” Combs has slammed the Grammys for not recognising “black music.”
Accepting an award for ‘Industry Icon’ in LA, Diddy made the comments towards the end of his 50-minute acceptance speech in which he largely recalled his life and career to date.
Combs said: “There’s something that I need to say to the Grammys — and I say this with love to the Grammys…Every year y’all be killing us. I’m speaking for all the artists and executives: in the great words of Erykah Badu, ‘We are artists and we are sensitive about our shit.’ For most of us, this is all we’ve got. This is our only hope.
“Truth be told, hip-hop has never been respected by the Grammys. Black music has never been respected by the Grammys.”
Diddy to Grammys: Hip-hop has always been disrespected. “You have 365 days to do better.” pic.twitter.com/3JjuiobtHC
— Andrew Hampp (@ahampp) January 26, 2020
He also went on to reference the current Grammy scandal which has seen former boss Deborah Dugan suing the Recording Academy.
“So right now, with this current situation…it’s not a revelation. This thing been going on — not just in music, but in film, sports, around the world. And for years we’ve allowed institutions that have never had our best interests at heart to judge us – and that stops right now.”
He continued: “I’m officially starting the clock: you’ve got 365 days to get this sh— together…We need the artists to take back control, we need transparency, we need diversity. This is the room that has the power to [bring] the change that needs to be made. They have to make the changes for us: They’re a non-profit organization that is supposed to protect the welfare of the musical community. That’s what is says on the mission statement: they work for us.
“It’s going to take all of us to get this done. I’m here for the artists, so sign me up.”
Just days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a lawsuit with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) after she was placed on leave for alleged “misconduct.”
According to the EEOC complaint, Dugan says she was instead put on administrative leave some three weeks after sending an email to the Academy’s managing director of human resources, which detailed serious allegations against the Recording Academy and its “historically male dominated leadership”.
The lawsuit also claimed that Ms Dugan’s administrative leave was in direct retaliation to her complaint, and also alleges that she was subjected to sexual harassment.
“The decision to put Ms. Dugan on leave was clearly made in retaliation for her complaint, and came with thinly veiled threats of termination in the event that Ms. Dugan persisted in pursuing claims against the Academy,” it states.
In their response to CNN, the Recording Academy denied the claims and said it was “curious” that Dugan had only decided to pursue action once she was facing separate allegations that she “created a ‘toxic and intolerable’ work environment and engaged in ‘abusive and bullying conduct’”.
Their statement added: “Ms. Dugan was placed on administrative leave only after offering to step down and demanding $22 million from the Academy, which is a not-for-profit organisation.”