Back in October of 2014, Kesha Rose Sebert or Ke$ha, singer of "TiK ToK," "We R Who We R," and "C'Mon," filed a suit against her producer "Dr." Lukasz Gottwald. She accused Dr. Luke of drugging her and raping her at age 18, an occurrence which led her to develop an eating disorder. Kesha's mother said, publically, that Dr. Luke repeated told Kesha to lose weight. Once, he even compared her to a refrigerator.
Dr. Luke, the man behind hits from Kelly Clarkson, Katy Perry, and Miley Cyrus, denied all claims stating that these accusations were a form of extortion and character defamation.
On this past Friday, their intense legal battle came to the New York Supreme Court. Kesha asked for a preliminary injunction, to take a temporary leave from her music label to record music without Dr. Luke. Shirley Kornreich, a Manhattan Supreme Court Justice, said that Kesha's attorney was "asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry." In doing so, she believed this, "decimates [their] argument" and her "instinct [was] to do the commercially reasonable thing" and deny Kesha's request.
There's a part of me that understands where the Manhattan Supreme Court is coming from. If they allow Kesha to nullify this contract, it violates and slightly illegitimatizes New York State's contract law — especially since Kesha brought no medical evidence to corroborate the allegations.
But how does that even begin to compare to the violation that Kesha felt?
Sony, the company that owns Dr. Luke's label, offered to let Kesha record with another producer. But it's an illusory, or empty promise. Kesha's attorney even alluded to the fact that Sony would side with Dr. Luke because he made them more money. And even if she were to switch producers, her lawyer argued that they wouldn't really support or promote Kesha.
For now, the case will either continue or both parties will decide to settle.
Kesha is a human being. And maybe all she has right now is an accusation. But other artists have broken their contracts for less. This case is bigger than Kesha versus Dr. Luke. Kesha was probably given the same speech that we give to all victims of sexual assault, come forward and tell the truth, this isn't your fault. But when she finally found her voice, the law and Sony all told her to be silent. The media even ostracized Kesha by belittling her case and calling her a girl who wore "too much glitter."
Because of this, the Internet is in a frenzy. Over 100,000 people have called for a boycott of Sony. But these same people, who are quick to hashtag their support, need to spread another conversation. We all need to reevaluate the way we view victims of sexual assault.
If we weren't so inclined to blame victims and call them liars, they might not be so afraid to come forward and admit that they were sexually abused. Kesha, like many, came forward in search of justice and was left feeling alone and unheard. We need to support and stand behind victims of sexual assault. Legality aside, companies, like Sony, should start placing a higher value on their employees. Profits shouldn't come first to people. Contracts should not have more meaning than consent.