I stand with Kesha

How ignored accusations magnify a greater issue in the music industry


Kelly Wynne, Editor-In-Chief

Remember when you played “Blind” on repeat when your middle school crush shattered your heart? Or When “Tik Tok” let you embrace your inner wild-child at your first school dance? In those moments, you needed Kesha. Now, she needs you.

Chances are, you probably thought Kesha dropped off the face of the earth after her brief stint on MTV. Actually, the pop singer has been fighting a yearlong battle with Dr. Luke, alleging years of sexual, mental and physical abuse by the well-known producer. Though Dr. Luke has denied all allegations, others in the music industry have stood beside her, Kesha’s hearing did not go her way. She is tied to her contract with Sony, which will require her to make six more albums working with the brand, and possibly, Dr. Luke.

Sony has released a statement saying, “Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever. But Sony is not in position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha.”

Music is about self-expression and self-empowerment. I find it hard to support a company who does not support its artists when declaring any form of assault in its own internal hierarchy. In the very least, accusations as serious as Kesha’s should be investigated and acted upon rather than ignored until media attention demands an answer.

I, along with many others who have spoken out in the media, believe the case is magnifying a much bigger issue, not only in the music industry, but in rape culture. Though, in the opinion of some, Kesha may not be the best role model, her experience will influence sexual assault victims worldwide. This is a case in which a famous singer built up the courage to speak out, not even asking for personal consequences for her alleged attacker, and was denied her freedom. Not only will this example beat down the confidence of those who identify with similar situations, but it will only make abuse victims more hesitant to fight for justice, no matter what that justice may be.

Sony, as a company, should cut ties with Dr. Luke in order to set an example. But we have seen this before. Remember when Chris Brown hit Rihanna? He has gone on to be more successful than ever. What if Brown was a teacher? Would the school system turn their backs on internal abuse? The music industry has a huge flaw when it comes to turning a blind eye on abusers within its own community.

Let’s take this a step further, even beyond Sony. Many famous artists took to social media in supporting Kesha. This included Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift and many more. Chances are you heard about Lovato’s Twitter rant about Taylor Swift, who did not speak out on social media, but privately gifted Kesha with $250,000 to pay off her legal fees. Lovato spoke about “fake feminists” and the need to speak up for other women in the industry. Each of these women, and many more, were reached out to by Buzzfeed.com and asked if, in the future, they would consider working with Dr. Luke. Absolutely every person asked declined to comment.

While this is most likely just be an example of not wanting to get involved, it screams the problem. No one is willing to get involved when it means risking his or her own name. It’s the same reason Sony released a sugar-sweet statement explaining how they are doing the best they can, when in reality, they could care less what happens to Dr. Luke or Kesha. As long as these artists are turning a profit, they will stand behind the good and the bad with fake apologies and unwritten plans to make amends.

So readers, Kesha need our help. While she may not be able to break her contract with Sony through a court, fans worldwide are trying to take a change. A gofundme.com page has been started in hopes to buy Kesha’s $2 million contract from Sony. You can donate to the cause or share the link at www.gofundme.com/freekesha. Even more important, you can talk about it. Whether or not you believe Kesha’s story, the problem is much bigger than a single artist and her accused abuser. The problem is in the fabric of one of the most hypocritical industries in the world. By speaking up and showing we do not agree with its behavior, the music industry may begin to make a big change in the way it treats all of its branches.

I stand with Kesha, and I hope you will too.