Fiona Apple has strongly slammed the Grammys for its support of controversial producer Dr. Luke, among other reasons.
She criticised them for nominating Dr. Luke, who has faced a lawsuit with singer Kesha over sexual assault allegations. Apple also called out their treatment of former president and CEO Deborah Dugan who brought legal action against the organisation after her sudden and unexpected ouster mere days before the 2020 awards.
“I’m waiting to hear more about what Deborah Dugan has to say because that all reeks to me,” Apple said. “When you hire somebody and they raise questions and then they get fired? There’s a lot of things that she brought up that make it so that I can’t vet that situation and I don’t really wanna go there and support it.
Dugan’s legal complaint was wide-ranging and damning. The numerous allegations included sexual harassment, excessive legal fees connected to law firms, and an ingrained “boys’ club” culture. She also alleged deep corruption within the Grammys’ nomination process, saying that board members use their positions to advance artists with whom they have relationships, among other charges.
It comes after the 2021 nominations provoked vocal ire for some of the decisions. The Weeknd himself was critical after his huge year received not one nomination when several lesser-known artists received major nods ahead of him.
Apple also discussed Dr. Luke, who was nominated slyly under a new pseudonym, Tyson Trax, for his work with Doja Cat. While he has beat nearly all of the Kesha-related lawsuits against him, and has ongoing defamation and breach of contract cases against the singer, the allegations have led him to take a low public profile and work under different guises.
“They had [Kesha] up there singing ‘Praying’ and now they’re gonna go: ‘Oh, but it’s Tyson Trax!’” Apple said, referencing Kesha’s performance at the 2018 Grammys of a song that is clearly directed at Dr. Luke.
“Not to go back to that word, but it’s bullshit,” she continued. “The feeling of wanting to celebrate with these women was genuine. But I should have that feeling anyway. I don’t know if anybody who’s nominated can help having the thought: What would I do If I won?
My vision was that I would just get up there with a sledgehammer and I wouldn’t say anything, I would take the Grammy and smash it into enough pieces to share and I would invite all the ladies up. My second thought was I wonder if I can get all these ladies to boycott this shit because of Dr. Luke.”