Kesha’s case against her former music producer, Dr. Luke – alleging he sexually assaulted the singer – hit the social stratosphere this week with the hashtag #FreeKesha.
The artist sued in 2014 seeking to be released from her contract with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records, which is owned by Sony Music, claiming he had been physically and emotionally abusive to her during their 10-year working relationship. The producer fired back with a defamation claim, alleging the pop star was fabricating the allegations to get out of her contract.
Daniel Zucker, executive vp business & legal affairs at RCA Records, a division of Sony, told the court in December that competition within the music industry is intense and this case could lead to other labels poaching Sony’s artists.
“If Kesha is allowed to disregard her exclusivity obligations to Kemosabe Records without even alleging a breach of the RCA Recording Agreement … Sony’s credibility within the record industry will be irreparably injured,” Zucker wrote in an affidavit. “Allowing Kesha to rebuke her obligations to Kemosabe Records also sends a message to Sony’s other existing and potential artists that they may be able to disregard, at will, their contractual obligations.”
Celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Lorde, Lena Dunham and Demi Lovato have shown support of Kesha by donating 250,000 to support her during her trial or simply tweeting out to her to show support.
A Kesha fan launched a GoFundMe campaign on Friday with the goal of raising $2 million so the artist could buy her way out of her contract. As of Monday afternoon, it has raised about $14,000.
“I can’t imagine a scenario where $2 million would ever quite cut it, unless there’s serious concern about the Twitterati backlash,” says Sammataro. “It may be enough of a social pressure to consider options they wouldn’t otherwise consider.”
Lena Dunham, director is HBO’s Girls is the latest celebrity to show support of Kesha via an open letter stating, “What’s happening to Kesha highlights the way that the American legal system continues to hurt women by failing to protect them from the men they identify as their abusers.”
This is causing the media to speculate on whether or not Sony will give in to the pressure of these tweets and the fans who support them.
Dr. Luke – the man who is accused of sexually assaulting Kesha – has tweeted out evidence, bluntly trying to clear his name.
Sony Music has made no clear response to the calls from celebrities.