Now that the initial devastation from the results of Kesha’s court appearance on February 19 have come to pass, the new questions from fans are whether she will be “forced” to record with Dr. Luke and if she will ever get her case to trial.
On February 19, it was reported that “[S]inger Kesha suffered a defeat in court when a New York judge refused her request to be released from her contract with Kemosabe Records, a label owned by Sony,” according to the Washington Post.
Since that time, fans have been protesting online and saying “Kesha should not have to work with someone that sexually abused them.” These Kesha fans may be responding to headlines from February 19 from sources like Page Six that state “Kesha forced to keep recording with her abuser, judge rules.”
Although the lawsuit has not yet been sent to trial, the good news is that Kesha will not actually have to work with Dr. Luke in the future to fulfill her contract with Sony.
On February 22, TMZ reports, “Dr. Luke’s lawyers have some interesting words for Kesha. On one hand, they want her to know she’s always been ‘free’… free to record with Luke or any other Sony producer. The lawyers also say they’ve invested $11 [million] in her career and are ‘committed to continuing to promote her work.'”
This means that Kesha was signed on with Sony, and Dr. Luke’s subsidiary, Kemosabe Records, was the one working with Kesha. Kesha wanted to be rid of Dr. Luke for being an alleged abuser, but this does not mean that she is free of Sony Records.
As it appears, if Kesha does not want to work with Dr. Luke, it has now been established that she will no longer be forced to interact with him to complete her Sony contract.
However, in an “Everything you need to know about the #FreeKesha case” rundown of all the details by the Washington Post published on February 22, it was noted that Kesha is aware she no longer has to work with Dr. Luke to fulfill her contract — but she doesn’t want that.
Sony Records aside, the fans of Kesha that are upset about her court case outcome on February 19 may be directing their anger at Sony instead of ineffective laws currently on the books.
For example, CNN stated that the reason the case was a “blow” to Kesha and her fans was due to the fact that “Though the original suit against Dr. Luke had included vivid and disturbing accounts of sexual and psychological abuse, a judge for the New York Supreme Court said her allegations were vague and there was no medical evidence provided to backup her claims of abuse.”
About Kesha and the court system’s systematic abuse of sexual violence victims, Lena Dunham wrote the following on Lenny Letter.
“To be clear, Kesha’s case is about more than a pop star fighting for her freedom, or a $60 million investment in a shiny commercial career. What’s happening to Kesha highlights the way that the American legal system continues to hurt women by failing to protect them from the men they identify as their abusers.”
Regardless, is Sony Records still the enemy of Kesha? After all, Kesha is “free” to record without Dr. Luke around.
As Refinery 29 points out on February 24, this “freedom” is not typically perceived in this way by women that were victims of sexual violence and states the following.
“Even though Sony has stated that Kesha is free to record with Kemosabe and not work directly with Dr. Luke, why would she ever want to be in a position where she has to produce material that earns income for someone who allegedly sexually and emotionally abused her?”
Also, it was also mentioned that while non-celebrities might not be aware of the inner-circle culture of Hollywood, other female celebrities certainly “get it.” Although Kesha’s case is still in flux with no verdict, other female celebrities have been showing their support of her, perhaps because they’ve heard a story like hers before.
The New York Times writes on February 22 that “Rallying behind the #FreeKesha social media campaign, female musicians including Lady Gaga, Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Fiona Apple, Ariana Grande and Kelly Clarkson have voiced support in recent days for Kesha.”
As Refinery 29 continues their evaluation of the Kesha/Dr. Luke timeline, they quote an article from the Atlantic from 2014 that states, “[Kesha’s] case against Dr. Luke is one that happens time and time again in the industry. An impressionable young teenager — usually female, although not always — is lured to Hollywood with the promise of fame and fortune by an older Svengali type, only to be manipulated and controlled in an emotionally and physically damaging way.”
At the end of the day, Kesha has not been banned from recording music, as long as it is with Sony Records (and some of the money she earns will go to Dr. Luke).
As for Kesha, she wants nothing more than to continue recording music, but, as quoted by the New York Times, her lawyers say “Her only condition is that she be allowed to record with a record label that is not affiliated with someone who has emotionally and sexually abused her.”
It should also be noted that Kesha’s case is not over and the decisions on February 19 are only the beginning.
Billboard reports on February 22 that the next steps for Kesha’s case is for each party to “turn in their demands for discovery of evidence in the suit by March 21.” Following this, “the window for the discovery period doesn’t end until [January] 6, 2017 … the best case scenario has them filing a notice that they are ready for trial on [February] 28, 2017.”
[Picture by Katie Stratton/Getty Images]