#FreeKesha has been trending on both Facebook and Twitter since a preliminary court hearing occurred on Friday Feb. 19, 2016 when a judge refused to release Kesha from her contract from Sony and Dr. Luke (real name Lukasz Gottwald). Kesha has stated that Dr. Luke (not a real doctor) sexually assaulted her.
You’ve probably been hearing a lot about what’s going on, but the details can be confusing. The hearing last Friday was for a preliminary injunction, meaning that it was not the end of Kesha’s case, but only the beginning. The preceding was to decide whether Kesha could be released from her contract to record songs while the lawsuit is pending.
Kesha sued her producer Dr. Luke in October 2014, saying that for ten years he sexually harassed her, battered her, and sent her into emotional distress. Kesha went to rehab in January 2014 for bulimia, which she states was onset by repetitive and constant remarks from Dr. Luke.
Dr. Luke and his team have denied Kesha’s claims and argued that this case is about money. Kesha still has six albums left on her contract with the label.
In court, Kesha argued that continuing to work under Sony and Dr. Luke will cause her irreparable harm. Dr. Luke has offered to let Kesha work with another producer, but her lawyer argued that Sony will not support or promote any new music from Kesha if that were to happen in order to maintain their siding with Dr. Luke.
The #FreeKesha posts have been coming not only from Kesha’s fans, whom she fondly calls her animals, but also famous celebrities in the industry. #FreeKesha tweets have already been posted by Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Demi Lovato and Lorde. Taylor Swift has donated $250,000 to Kesha’s financial and legal needs. Lena Dunham wrote passionately about what Kesha’s case means for the rest of us.
No artist should have to work under conditions that would be harmful to their well-being. It seems like the matter should be an easy decision, but it is clear that this lawsuit is anything but easy.
Forcing Kesha to remain in her contract with no new music being made is devastating for her once thriving career.
More importantly, Kesha’s well being is entirely at stake in this case. Coming forward about rape and sexual abuse can be an extremely difficult thing to do, and now she is being unjustly punished for doing so. Kesha’s case, if treated properly, could mean so much to survivors of assault and abuse. But it appears that Sony is protecting their finances over the well-being and livelihood of a woman who has spoken up about her abuse.
If Kesha has to continue her career under a label disregarding this alleged abuse, Sony is sending the message that not even rape allegations are more important than making money. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating that Kesha’s net worth is more important than her personhood.
Every moment that Kesha spends stuck under Sony and Dr. Luke, she spends reliving a nightmare of abuse. It’s time Kesha be free from Dr. Luke so she can produce and promote the music she’s been waiting for years to share with the world.