Here's Everything You Need to Know about Kesha and Dr. Luke Right Now

In the past, pop singer Kesha has been in the news for a variety of reasons, from releasing new music to a stint in rehab. This week, however, she’s in the news for something entirely different; a New York City judge ruled that her contract with Sony music cannot be broken or amended to allow the artist to work with other companies, forcing her to continue to work with her producer and alleged rapist, Dr. Luke.

In 2014, Kesha filed a lawsuit against her producer claiming he had “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally” abused her in the ten years of their working together before the suit. In the suit, Kesha claimed she believed Dr. Luke to be powerful enough to carry out threats he had made against her life, so she never reported the abuse until now. In 2013, the artist was admitted to rehab for an eating disorder that her mother claims was a direct result of Dr. Luke’s abuse.

The case was heard on Friday, February 19th, as fans of the artist gathered outside the NYC courthouse toting signs saying “Free Kesha.” A hashtag of the same slogan went viral on Twitter after the judge denied Kesha’s injunction. A video was released of the singer’s reaction to the verdict, as she broke down sobbing next to her mother after hearing she would be forced to continue making music with her alleged abuser. Outside the courthouse, fans welcomed Kesha back into the world and sympathized with her case, hugging her and offering her support. One fan even created a Gofundme account to buy the artist out of her contract. Similarly, Taylor Swift has agreed to donate over $250,000 for the artist for financial needs, and other female artists have publically declared their support.



In response to the suit being filed, Dr. Luke’s legal team released a statement claiming the ordeal is simply a means of extortion--or rather, Kesha is lying in order to renegotiate her contract and get more money from Luke. They also fired back with a counter-lawsuit for breach of contract. The judge on the case stated that there was not sufficient evidence to prove the abuse, so there was therefore not enough evidence that the relationship between the singer and producer was toxic. Now, Kesha is contractually obligated to continue making music with her abuser, and fans are outraged. They protested the verdict outside Sony’s headquarters earlier in the week, and have continued to circulate the story over social media.

So what does all this mean, really? Well, back in 2015, Zayn Malik was allowed to buy himself out of his $16 million dollar contract with One Direction because he wanted to pursue a solo career. What kind of society do we live in where it is acceptable to allow a singer to exit a contract because they no longer want to be in their band, but don’t let a victim of sexual assault free herself from being forced to work with her abuser? This is telling of a bigger issue of sexism in the music industry, and right now, it seems like there’s no changing that. Legally speaking, Dr. Luke is the only person who can terminate his contract with Kesha, so right now, there’s not much that can be done, unless the court decides to continue hearing Kesha’s case.

Other artists, like Lorde, Zedd, and Lady Gaga, continue to declare their support and dedication to Kesha, and her fans continue to speak outwardly about the injustice.