Last week, there was a hashtag on Twitter topping the trends: #FreeKesha. Pop singer Kesha recently asked a New York Supreme Court judge to grant her request for a preliminary conjunction that would allow her to be released from her contract with record producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald under his label Kemosabe Records. On Feb. 19, her request was denied.
Since Oct. 2014, Kesha has been fighting with the well-known pop producer, who has worked with mega-famous singers such as Katy Perry and Britney Spears. Kesha wanted to be released from her contract under the claim that he has sexually assaulted and harassed her, as well as physically and emotionally abused her for almost a decade of collaboration. She claimed that he drugged and raped her, and was the cause of her eating disorder.
“This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for 10 years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke,” the pop star’s attorney, Mark Geragos, told Rolling Stone. Dr. Luke denied these accusations and, in response to Kesha’s lawsuit, filed a countersuit in November against Kesha for defamation, accusing her, her mother and her management of fabricating the abuse and breach of contract.
Since this ongoing legal battle, Kesha has been restricted from creating and performing her music, which is ultimately affecting her career as a singer. Dr. Luke has control over any music she works on, releases and writes. Even if Kesha refuses to release any new music, Dr. Luke can release any song she has worked on in the past and profit from it. “With no new music to perform, Kesha cannot tour. Off the radio and stage, and out of the spotlight, Kesha cannot sell merchandise, receive sponsorships or get media attention. Her brand value has fallen, and unless the court issues this injunction, Kesha will suffer irreparable harm, plummeting her career past the point of no return,” states The Hollywood Reporter, in a memorandum that supports the injunction that would bar Dr. Luke from interfering with her signing to another label.
This current lawsuit between Kesha and Dr. Luke is an unfortunate example of the problems that can occur in the entertainment industry. The media has only picked up on this controversial legal battle because of Kesha’s shocking claims against a producer that has worked with many award-winning singers. People are failing to acknowledge the repercussions that Kesha is facing because of this fallout, instead, focusing on her allegations of rape which are serious, but are just one of the problems in this lawsuit. Kesha has no control over her music, which has placed her in a sort of limbo that she cannot escape from. Instead of Dr. Luke complying with her request to be removed from her contract, there has to be a court battle that could take years to be resolved.
The entertainment industry has so many webs that can trap an artist into their hold and it often always involves the labels they are signed to. Singer JoJo just recently won her legal battle last year with her former label Blackground Records after a seven-year legal battle that included two lawsuits and forced her to place her music on hold. No artist should have to suffer for years just to be able to have creative control over their own music. The solution to this problem is simple and it seems one huge producer with numerous Top 10 hits in his resume is ignoring it. Release Kesha from her contract Dr. Luke, so she can move forward with her career like she desperately wants too.