Why We Need to “Free Kesha”

Kesha Sebert, known mononymously as Kesha, decided to speak out in February 2016 about the inappropriate actions of her producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. Kesha claimed that Dr. Luke sexually and mentally abused her over a 10-year period, and because of this she requested an injunction from her label, Kemosabe Records, owned by Sony Music Entertainment. The injunction would have forced Dr. Luke to leave the company because he was harming Kesha. However, a New York judge denied the injunction, forcing Kesha to continue to work alongside her abuser. There was a rumor that Sony was going to drop Dr. Luke from the brand, but that turned out to be just that: a rumor. The only way in which Dr. Luke’s contract can be terminated a year before it expires is if there is a mutual agreement of some sort between Dr. Luke and Sony.

Various people have spoken out about this, including Lena Dunham, who writes that Kesha’s case is about “the systemic misogyny of the entertainment industry, or the way that women in music and film have long been controlled and coerced by abusive Svengalis and entities larger than themselves.” Kesha has also gained the support of artists like Adele, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson.

On top of that, this fall PBS plans to air an eight-episode documentary series about pop music entitled “Soundbreaking.” The first episode is supposed to open with an interview with Dr. Luke. However, because of these recent allegations PBS is considering pulling the interview as well as any other segments that feature Dr. Luke.

Rape is not something that should be taken as lightly as it has been in this scenario. So many women feel as if they cannot speak out about their rape stories because they are scared. They are scared that their abusers will do them more harm if they speak out about the situation. But remaining silent should not be an option. I commend Kesha for speaking out about Dr. Luke’s abuse. Men should be called out when they try to treat women as sexual objects because there are no circumstances in which that is acceptable. Because this case involves a celebrity like Kesha, it is a great opportunity to bring public awareness to the issue of rape. So many people act as if rape does not occur, when in reality a woman is raped every two minutes, and 22 percent of victims are under the age of 12 when they are raped for the first time. Pretty shocking, right?

Kesha was treated as a sexual object in this scenario, which is never under any circumstance acceptable. Why is it that if a female is raped it is automatically assumed she was dressed in a way in which she was “asking for it”? Why is it that a woman like Kesha is being forced to work with her abuser when it is continuing to harm her mentally? Why does the man get to use a “get-out-of-jail-free” card? Now, if the roles were reversed, the woman would probably get fired in a second for actions like these, yet for men this has almost become socially acceptable. As a man, Dr. Luke does something like this and continues on with his everyday life. It is absolutely appalling that Sony values money and fame more than a woman’s safety. Sony needs to work towards granting Kesha the safety she deserves by letting go of Dr. Luke.

Sources: cnn.com, vanityfair.com

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