Former MusiCares VP Files Lawsuit Against The Recording Academy
Niel Portnow. Credit: Randee St. Nicholas

Former MusiCares VP Files Lawsuit Against The Recording Academy

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LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess) – A former VP of MusiCares filed a lawsuit against the Recording Academy this week after being fired back in April.

In the suit, which was filed in L.A. Superior Court on Monday, Dana Tomarken, 75, is alleging that she was terminated on the basis of her gender and age, and claims that Academy chairman and president Neil Portnow is running a “boys’ club.”

“The culture of sexism that pervaded the Academy and MusiCares was evidenced by the ‘boys’ club’ surrounding Neil Portnow, the suit said. “The so-called boys’ club was a group of men who were deeply loyal to Mr. Portnow, regularly socialized with him, and served as go-tos for anything he needed. Multiple women failed at breaking down the barriers to join this club.”

Tomarken had been with the organization for 25 years at the time she was she fired.

Following her dismissal, she wrote a 4,500-word letter to the Recording Academy’s board, in which she accused Portnow of steering money away from the Grammy’s charitable organization after it was hit with unexpected costs due to its decision to hold the 2018 Grammy Awards at Madison Square Garden. She also accused Portnow of blocking her efforts to brief the board on the matter.

The Academy maintains that Tomarken did not raise her claims of mistreatment until after she was fired.

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