Kesha (stylized as “Ke$ha”,) the recording artist famous for hit songs such as “Tik Tok”, “Blow” and “Timber” recently was involved in a law suit in New York, which was dismissed on February 19, 2016. Kesha filed the law suit to be released from her recording contract with Sony Records, whom she is currently contractually obligated to record six more albums with. Kesha alleges that her producer under the label, Dr. Luke, sexually and emotionally abused her. The law suit was dismissed by the New York Court, who indicated in its’ decision that Sony would suffer harm if Kesha were allowed to break the contract with the record label. The Court also took note of the fact that Dr. Luke had said that he did not have to be involved in Kesha’s contractually obligated future albums under Sony Records. Kesha was visibly upset in the photos shown by local news outlets in New York.
The issue is an interesting one. On one hand, it does send a very interesting message to women in our world, that as far as business and contractual obligations are concerned, sexual and emotional abuse doesn’t matter. Artist Demi Lovato took to Twitter account to express this notion upon hearing the news, essentially stating that women have no incentive to come forward about this type of abuse if no one will “believe them”. While this is true, the issue here is not one of whether or not the Judge in the New York case “believed” her. This sort of statement really detracts from the issue that was before the New York Court. That issue was simply, should Kesha have to fulfill her recording contract with Sony Records, or not? If Kesha doesn’t record the remaining six albums with Sony Records and is allowed to break the contract to record with some other company, Sony Records loses a ton of money. The Court’s position seems to be that if Kesha’s abuser does not partake in the recordings and has nothing to do with same, there shouldn’t be an issue with fulfilling the contract. On the other hand, working for a record label that undoubtedly did not know (or chose to ignore) what was going on right under their noses with a producer and an artist would be a hard pill to swallow for Kesha, who must feel anger at the label. The unfortunate bottom line is, the contractual obligation of Kesha to Sony Records is not related at all to the unfortunate abuse she suffered.