LOS ANGELES — The people who put on the Grammys strive to bring the public the “freshest show” possible, but they don’t blacklist performers who appear on the rival American Music Awards, the recording academy’s president said.
In a lawsuit filed Wednesday, Dick Clark accused the president of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences of blacklisting performers who appear on his American Music Awards. The action seeks $10 million in damages and a halt to the practice.
“We have a pact with the public and that pact, as far as I am concerned, is that we are going to give you the best artists,” the academy’s president, Dick Greene, told the syndicated television show Access Hollywood on Thursday. “We spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on these artists, and we are going to give you the freshest show that you can see.”
But, Greene added, the academy would never blacklist a performer who goes on the rival show.
“I guess the only thing about Dick’s publicity stunt-lawsuit today that irritates me is characterizing it as some blacklist,” he said. “We don’t have a blacklist.”
Clark accused Greene of persuading Michael Jackson to break a promise to appear on his Jan. 9 show next year and preventing Britney Spears from appearing previously. Greene also banned Sean “P. Diddy” Combs and Toni Braxton from performing on the Grammys after they appeared on his show, Clark said.
Greene said he never tampered with Jackson or any other artist, though he indicated it is up to them to decide which show they want to appear on.
“If you take Michael Jackson or any of the other acts that he references, you have to remember they have to make a decision,” he said. “It’s a very simple decision.”
He added that the Grammy show only has time to showcase 14 performers out of some 500 nominees, and wants to make sure it gives the public the best show possible.
“Think about it, 500 nominees and we can only perform 14 of them,” he said. “Why on Earth would we ever even think about taking something that had been on television a few weeks earlier and spending a couple hundred thousand dollars on a production number for them? It’s just not good television.”