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The Student News Site of Stony Brook University

The Statesman


Reconsidering Kesha’s contract case

If you have a Twitter account and have checked it within the last month, you have most likely seen #FreeKesha make its way onto your feed. Many social media users, including many celebrities, have backed the famous pop-star Kesha after her request to be released from her contract with the producer Dr. Luke was denied by a judge.

According to The Washington Post, the situation began in 2014, when Kesha filed a lawsuit against Dr. Luke, the producer she had worked with since she was 17 years old. Dr. Luke helped her produce her album “Animal” and hit songs that helped her rise to fame, such as “TiK ToK” and “We R Who We R.” However, this fame came at a cost to Kesha, who claims to have been drugged, raped and emotionally abused by Dr. Luke while working with him.

In the contract Kesha signed with Sony Music, it states she must produce six more albums with Dr. Luke, the man she is accusing of leaving her life in shambles and mentally and physically abusing her to the point that she admitted herself to rehab and felt the need to bring it to the public eye. This is why she has asked to be released from the contract. However, Kesha’s request for a preliminary injunction, which would have allowed her to record songs outside of the contract until the lawsuit is decided, was denied.

But I believe Kesha is approaching the case in a way that is not beneficial to her in the long run. She should have filed the rape case separately from the contract dispute because unfortunately, many people and possibly the judge may believe Kesha is lying about being raped and abused as a way to get out of her contract.

If I were her lawyer, I would have filed the case of rape and then let that case play out until it was determined that Dr. Luke did in fact rape her. Then, I would bring the contract into the mix and use the rape case as proof as to why she must be let out of the contract.

As it happened, the judge couldn’t just look at the rape and abuse case, but also had to take into consideration the fact that Kesha wanted out of her contract.

“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” Justice Shirley Werner Kornreich, who denied the motion, said to The New York Times.

Her case has caught the attention of many celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande, who have both voiced their support for Kesha .They have not only supported her case, but also addressed the fact that people in our country do not take someone accusing someone as rape as seriously as they should.

This is the world we live in. When someone says they have been raped, people first ask questions such as “What were you wearing?” or “Did you provoke it?” Then many believe the person is lying, or that they are the proverbial “boy who cried wolf.” This is one of the major problems of our society: a person who comes forward as a rape victim often faces scrutiny from the justice system. This is the problem Kesha is facing and many women have faced before her.

We must recognize that Kesha  is not a “normal” woman; she is a pop-star who has had very different life experiences compared to the average woman. This is why her case is being blown up by social media and the news; she is a celebrity accusing a famous producer of raping her and is now trying to get out of a contract. Because Sony invested money in Kesha and they plan on making back this money and more with the next four albums she is signed to release with them, this isn’t your average rape case.

I can understand why Kesha chose to pursue the two cases together. This, in theory, would have sped up the legal process and gotten her out of her contract quicker, thus allowing her to record her music sooner.

It is truly a terrible situation, that no woman should have to go through. However, to avoid the accusation of lying, I think she should have pursued the rape case before bringing in the contract.

FEATURE IMAGE CREDIT: eskimo_jo/Wikimedia Commons

Correction: March 2, 2016

A previous version of this article incorrectly listed Opinions Editor Christopher Leelum as the author. The author is contributing writer Sophia Ricco. 

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