LOS ANGELES, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Producer Dick Clark and Recording Academy President and CEO Michael Greene continued their war of words Thursday in the legal battle that Clark initiated when he filed a $10 million lawsuit against Greene in the ongoing competition for the services of top musical acts on awards show telecasts.
Dick Clark Productions Inc., which produces the American Music Awards, on Wednesday accused Greene of implementing a blacklist, preventing performers from appearing on both the AMA and the Grammy Awards telecasts.
The National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences -- which was not named as a defendant in the suit -- issued a statement Wednesday in response to the announcement of the lawsuit against Greene, denying it did anything wrong.
"In reference to today's surprising accusations, the Recording Academy stands behind its legitimate business practices 100 percent and absolutely denies any wrongdoing," said the NARAS statement.
In an interview with the syndicated show, "Access Hollywood," Greene took up the theme that it is standard practice in the entertainment business to arrange for exclusivity when booking performers.
"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," said Greene in the interview, which aired 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."
Greene said the Grammys telecast is seen by 2 billion people around the world, and insisted he would not "put a recycled show on the air."
He repeated the accusation first leveled in the Recording Academy statement on Wednesday, that Clark filed the suit to get attention for the 29th Annual American Music Awards.
"I guess the only thing about Dick's publicity stunt lawsuit ... that irritates me is characterizing it as some blacklist," said Greene. "We don't have a blacklist."
Clark denied that the lawsuit is a stunt.
"I've been doing this for a lot of years," he said. "Do they think I'm that stupid, that if I was going to do this as a publicity stunt that I would do it three weeks ahead of the show instead of three days ahead?"
Clark appeared visibly upset Wednesday as he told reporters in Beverly Hills that Greene had implemented an "arbitrary and unfair" policy that prevented artists -- including Michael Jackson, Britney Spears, P. Diddy and Toni Braxton -- from appearing on both telecasts.
In his court filing, Clark alleged that Spears withdrew from the American Music Awards show two years ago -- after his production company had announced her performance and built an elaborate set for her -- because Greene told her that she would not be able to appear on the Grammys telecast if she also did the AMA show.
Clark said he spoke to Greene following the incident and that Greene said at the time that the "situation is indeed out of control." He said Greene promised him that "the blacklist policy would be terminated."
However, the suit alleges that as recently as last month, Greene caused Jackson to breach an oral contract with Clark to appear on the upcoming 29th Annual American Music Awards, to perform and to receive an Artist of the Century award. The suit accuses Greene of "intentional interference" that will hurt the AMA's TV ratings and diminish the value of the Jan. 9 telecast on ABC.
"I don't know anything about that," said Greene. "Well, we haven't booked anybody yet. Until the nominations come out, we won't book them."
Nominations for the 44th Annual Grammy Awards will be announced Jan. 4.
Clark said Thursday that Jackson has agreed to appear on the AMA show to receive the award, but not to perform.
Although the suit indicates Jackson breached a contract to appear on the AMA, Clark said he is not taking any legal action against Jackson.
"I've known Michael Jackson since he was a kid," said Clark. "To have another party interfere with that friendship makes me very, very angry. This lawsuit is confined to C. Michael Greene."
Clark said he and Jackson will "stay friends forever, despite this bump in the road."
He said his problem with Greene goes beyond business considerations, and is now personal.
"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore," said Clark, borrowing the line made famous by newscaster Howard Beale in the Oscar-winning movie "Network."
Greene is the only defendant named in the suit, but court papers leave open the possibility of naming more defendants by including 10 "Does" -- fictitious names that effectively serve as placeholders until other defendants are identified.
The Grammy Awards will be presented Feb. 27 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, in ceremonies to be televised on CBS.