In 2014, pop singer Kesha filed suit against her producer, Dr. Luke, asking that she be released from a contract that requires her to record her next six albums with him. She accused Dr. Luke of drugging, raping and emotionally abusing her—which led to the development of her eating disorder.
Incredibly, Kesha’s request was denied by the New York State Supreme Court last Friday.
The case isn’t finished, but Friday’s outcome was deplorable. Kesha’s career has been stifled by this issue for years—she hasn’t released an album since “Warrior” in 2012—and now it’s official that she will be unable to produce work with anyone but her alleged rapist until she follows through with the contract.
On top of this awful reality, Kesha’s story is just one of many instances in which men in the music industry have gotten off the hook for abusing women. Chris Brown, who beat his ex-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009, has since sustained a successful career. John Lennon abused both of his wives and maintains his status as an icon.
When will we stop ignoring this kind of behavior? Where do we draw the line when separating artists from their art?
The way the industry has responded to this story (and there really wasn’t much of a response at all last year when Kesha filed suit) has been disappointing. Some fellow female pop stars have spoken up on her behalf in this past week, including Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus and Ariana Grande, but this isn’t enough.
I’d like to live in a country where rape victims don’t have to go to court to get away from their rapists. And I would like to see justice for Kesha—not just in the form of an outraged Twitter storm, but in the legal sense, so that she can finally get back to creating music in a healthy environment.
—Jenna Ramsey, News Editor