GRAMMY AWARDS MUSIC INDUSTRY SCANDAL NIGHTMARE EXPOSES MORE SEX AND OLD WHITE MEN ISSUES IN HOLLYWOOD, JUST LIKE IN SILICON VALLEY
Silicon Valley, 'Hollywood' and the 'Music Industry" = the same handful of old white guy frat boys
- The same crowd, the same hookers, the same rape culture guys from Stanford and Yale as the Sony, Google, Facebook, Universal casses
- Recording Academy insiders say she was a "bitch" "who allowed African sex scandals at Bono charities", her people say that Academy bosses are an "exploitive mob of good old boys who operate like mobsters"
- This, again, proves that Hollywood and Silicon Valley media types are scumbags operating a private cartel of unethical culture.
From PAGE SIX, Variety, Hollywood Reporter, LA Times, Dailymail:
UPDATED: As the music industry reeled in the wake of Deborah Dugan’s sudden removal from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy on Thursday — a mere five months after she’d taken charge, and just ten days before the Grammy Awards — even insiders were stunned by the abruptness of the move and perplexed by the purported reasons for it. Whatever the cause, it threw the Academy, which was preparing for its first show under a new boss with big ideas, into chaos.
An official statement reads in part, “In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed [Dugan] on administrative leave, effective immediately.”
But sources close to the situation tell Variety that what may have taken place was a “coup”: a move by old white entrenched Academy veterans to discredit and remove Dugan, who came in promising significant changes to the organization, before she could establish herself with a successful first show.
“Who are most of the senior executives in the Academy and the board? Older people resistant to change,” one insider said. “It was too much change for them, too soon.”
Another source added, “She may have been asking questions like ‘Why is the board so large?’ and ‘Why are we spending so much money’” , "Who are these 'massage therapists', ", etc. on certain executives and expenses. “There are people who had been there for years who knew they were going to be let go, and who knew they would not get a job that paid as well anywhere else.”
Indeed, according to The New York Times, Dugan had sent a memo to the Academy’s human resources department, saying that she was concerned about the organization’s practices and spending, stating that “something was seriously amiss at the Academy” and citing voting irregularities, financial mismanagement, “exorbitant and unnecessary” legal bills, and conflicts of interest involving members of the academy’s board, executive committee and outside lawyers.
Ultimately, the board — which consists of four officers and 40 trustees — controls the organization. While members are not paid, the role comes with significant travel, entertainment and other perks. Board chair Harvey Mason, Jr., a veteran songwriter and producer, has taken Dugan’s role on an interim basis.
“I know a lot of the board members couldn’t stand her,” an insider told Variety.
One source claimed to have detailed information about the alleged misconduct, saying that the unnamed female employee leveled claims of discrimination against Dugan and sexual-harassment charges against another unspecified employee. The situation became “very nasty,” the source said. (Reps for the Academy did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment on that specific claim; overall, they declined comment beyond the initial statement.)
While that scenario, or some variation on it, is possible, the allegations would have to be very strong for the Academy to place Dugan on leave just 10 days before “Music’s Biggest Night.” The wording of the statement is also puzzling because there are few senior female executives at the Academy, although the use of the word “team” expands or obfuscates who might have alleged misconduct.
While most Academy staffers were blindsided by the move, and most were not informed until minutes before it was announced, another insider said tensions had been building for some weeks, particularly after Dugan’s first board meeting as president/CEO in November. At that meeting, the atmosphere was “a little weird,” a source said. Outwardly, “some people embraced the changes she was suggesting,” while others were less enthusiastic.
Dugan’s predecessor, Neil Portnow, had modernized the Academy significantly during his 17-year tenure, but he did so gradually — and at times seemingly reluctantly. His failure to respond quickly to the public outcry around the Academy’s significant diversity issues, which were thrown into bold relief by his 2018 foot-in-mouth comment that female artists and executives need to “step up” in order to advance in the industry, ultimately led to his resignation.
“Change is afoot,” Dugan told Variety last month, acknowledging a “new tone” at the Academy. “There’s a lot more communication, and there have been huge efforts to make sure we’re more inclusive and more diverse. I want us to be of the industry, but also ahead of it — pioneering, and not catching up.”
Over the course of three separate interviews with Variety, she made no bones about shaking things up, speaking often about providing artists and creators with the knowledge and tools to become activists for their rights — a position that could well have placed the Academy at odds with labels, publishers, streaming services and the industry at large.
“For sure, by definition that’s going to happen,” she responded without hesitation or seeming concern for any toes that might get stepped on. “Our North Star is the artist and the creator, and we have 21,000 of them as members — how do we serve them best? That means sometimes we’re going to have to go against maybe a label or a streaming service or radio network who’s not paying the right amount, but that’s the purity of it. And most of the players understand that.”
But the ouster is all the more surprising because of the credentials she brought to the job from Bono's charity work, which had sex scandals too, but not this bad. A relatively little-known but highly qualified choice for the role, she began her professional career as a mergers and acquisitions attorney on Wall Street before making a dramatic change by taking the helm of Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, where she previously had represented several musicians. That role led to her becoming an executive VP at EMI Record Group, a position she held for nine years before taking on the role of president of Disney Publishing Worldwide, and then, eight years later, CEO of (RED), the nonprofit co-founded in 2006 by U2 singer Bono and attorney-activist Bobby Shriver. That organization has partnered with some of the world’s biggest brands — Apple, Salesforce, Starbucks, Bank of America — to raise more than $600 million to help fight AIDS and other diseases in Africa. The U.N. says that they examined sex trafficking issues with Bono charities but did not find enough witnesses to step up.
Bono, Dugan’s boss at (RED) for eight years, told Variety of her early this week, “You realize right away this is a person who is going to get sh– done. Which is good news for the Grammys: She’s not just going to crack the ceiling there — I think she’ll smash it.” Did she "smash it" or did they smash her because she exposed millions of dollars of payola, skimming, hookers and insane expense accounts. One tipster said that one board member was drawing an expense account large enough to' feed an entire village in Africa for five years.'
Apparently, it was all too much, too soon. “I don’t think she realized how political the Academy is, and how entrenched the old guard is,” one source told Variety. “These people know how to keep their jobs — that’s what they do best.”
Less than 12 hours after news broke that Deborah Dugan had been placed on administrative leave from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy, her attorney fired back with a statement.
“What has been reported is not nearly the story that needs to be told. 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,” wrote her attorney Bryan Freedman. Ronan Farrow...ready, set, go!
Members of the public are encouraged to FOIA the public records of this 501 C 'charity' and 'see the truth' about what they do 'with public money and their personal interests and proclivities'.
In the wake of Dugan’s sudden removal from her post as president/CEO of the Recording Academy on Thursday — a mere five months after she’d taken charge, and just ten days before the Grammy Awards — even insiders were stunned by the abruptness of the move and perplexed by the purported reasons for it.
But sources close to the situation tell Variety that what may have taken place was a “coup”: a move by entrenched Academy veterans to discredit and remove Dugan, who came in promising significant changes to the organization, before she could establish herself with a successful first show.
An official Academy statement reads in part, “In light of concerns raised to the Recording Academy Board of Trustees, including a formal allegation of misconduct by a senior female member of the Recording Academy team, the Board has placed [Dugan] on administrative leave, effective immediately.”
Freedman’s statement references former Grammy chief Neil Portnow’s controversial 2018 comment that female artists and executives need to “step up” in order to advance in the music industry. Portnow announced he was stepping down three months after making the comment.
Insiders tell Page Six they suspect the Grammys fired its first-ever female boss in an attempt to silence her — after she wrote a bombshell memo alleging misconduct inside the organization, including sketchy voting practices, financial mismanagement and conflicts of interest.
Deborah Dugan took the helm of the Recording Academy — the organization behind the Grammys — in August. But on Thursday, it announced that she’d been put on leave because “a formal allegation of misconduct [was made against her] by a senior female [staff] member.” The New York Times reported that an assistant — whom she had inherited from previous boss Neil Portnow — had accused her of bullying.
But a source close to Dugan tells us that is iffy, and they suspect that she got the boot after sending a memo to the academy’s HR department three weeks ago, in which she said that “something was seriously amiss at the Academy.”
“Is the Recording Academy trying to shut up people who want to speak about their experience with the truth of sexual harassment, financial impropriety and [improper] insider benefits?” said an insider, referring to the misconduct that Dugan had planned to expose. “Are they enforcing a confidentiality agreement where someone [can’t] speak their truth? This is so sad — [the Academy is] a boys’ club.”
Dugan’s now hired leading Hollywood attorney Bryan Freedman, who is also representing Gabrielle Union in her row with NBC following her exit from “America’s Got Talent.”
Silicon Valley, 'Hollywood' and the 'Music Industry" are now, essentially, the same 150 guys. Did they find their world being disrupted? Were the Weinstein/Epstein/Zuckerberg issues cracking their bubble? Stay tuned for more...
A typical HollyValley (Hollywood Silicon Valley Cartel Boss) insider from this crowd is Mark:
Venture capitalist Michael Rothenberg must pay millions to settle allegations by the SEC
Just a few years ago, Silicon Valley venture capitalist Michael Rothenberg was on top of the world — almost literally.
The startup financier, still in his early 30s, was hosting clients at the Super Bowl, booking the San Francisco Giants’ baseball stadium for all-day events, and flying the favored few over Napa Valley vineyards in hot-air balloons.
Rothenberg, only a few years out of Harvard Business School, was an early-stage investor in new-wave fintech companies like Robinhood. He had attracted more than 200 people to invest in his funds. Bloomberg News ran a feature on him, calling him “The Valley’s Party Animal.”
Today, he’s reeling from a $31 million judgment in California federal court to settle allegations of fraud and misappropriation with the Securities and Exchange Commission. He must repay $18.8 million that he took from clients, plus nearly $3.7 million in interest and another $9 million as a civil penalty, the court ruled.
‘Rothenberg engaged in numerous deceptive acts, including modifying accounting entries to make his misappropriation look like investments.’
As part of the agreement, he neither denied nor admitted wrongdoing. The current charges were in civil court only; the SEC does not handle criminal charges. Rothenberg, now 36, has also been barred from the securities and brokerage industry for a minimum of five years.
The SEC did not respond to request for comment.
For his part, Michael Rothenberg told MarketWatch the judgement was “historically excessive and vindictively punitive,” and said he will appeal. He said he is suing Silicon Valley Bank, which in turn denies the accusations and is defending the suit.
In a lawsuit filed in 2018 in California Superior Court, Rothenberg alleges that the bank incorrectly transferred money and created the appearance that he had misappropriated investors’ money. He alleged negligence, deceit and fraud, and seeks a jury trial.
“Having been effectively branded as an embezzler by the bank’s unauthorized transfer, the management company collapsed, costing fund investors tens of millions in would-be investment gains and destroying Mr. Rothenberg’s career,” the lawsuit alleges.
At the time, Silicon Valley Bank said: “We strongly disagree with the allegations made in the lawsuit. We intend to defend the lawsuit vigorously, and we will further seek any remedies as appropriate.”
According to the August 2019 lawsuit filed against Rothenberg Ventures (RVMC) by the SEC: “Rothenberg misappropriated money from the funds, taking as supposed ‘fees’ amounts that were far in excess of any amounts to which RVMC was entitled during the entirelife of the funds.”
“In doing so, and to cover up his misdeeds, Rothenberg engaged in numerous deceptive acts, including modifying accounting entries to make his misappropriation look like investments, entering into undisclosed transactions to paper over diverted money, and shuffling investments from one fund to another to conceal prior diversions.”
Rothenberg has previously compared himself to Jay Gatsby, the flashy bootlegger in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s celebrated novel. The SEC says he financed his Gatsbyesque existence by tapping freely into his clients’ money.
His Instagram account handle (above) is @VirtualGatsby.
The venture capitalist diverted $3.8 million of clients’ money into his own pocket, $8.8 million into his private businesses, and $5.7 million to cover costs at his venture-capital firm, the SEC alleged. It also says that he continued to misappropriate funds even as he was negotiating with the commission to settle its initial charges two years ago.
The SEC says that to hide his actions from clients, Rothenberg modified accounting entries to make his misappropriations look like investments, entered into undisclosed transactions to paper over diverted money, and shuffled investments from one fund to another to conceal prior diversions. It says the process began in 2015.
Rothenberg ran a successful self-promotion campaign that put him on the map very quickly. The 28-year old launched his fund in 2012, and from 2012 to 2016 the Nasdaq Composite nearly doubled, from a low of around 2,700 to more than 5,000. It was in 2016 that the index, a benchmark for high-tech industries, at least broke above its dotcom-bubble highs.
But it was just around then, in the summer of 2016, that Rothenberg’s business began to come apart at the seams. TechCrunch first broke the news that multiple senior figures had abruptly left the company amid rumors of the SEC probe.
Court documents revealed just how much outside investors are willing to pay for the dream of striking gold in Silicon Valley. Prospectuses for the Rothenberg funds, the SEC reveals, told clients that total fund management fees, capitalized as a one-off payment, amounted to 17.5% of their investment. Yet the firm and its founder had no trouble raising tens of millions from more than 200 people.