Update May 2017: Some positive news on the fight against rape culture: Sony Music has severed ties with Dr. Luke, the record producer Kesha accused of drugging her, raping her and psychologically abusing her for almost a decade.
Content warning: abuse and sexual violence
Kesha is trapped.
A Manhattan Supreme Court judge just ruled that the singer-songwriter has to keep working for a man she says drugged and raped her when she was 18, then sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abused her for years. The reason? To protect Sony's corporate investment.
Kesha has been placed in a seriously messed up predicament: work for her abuser, or say goodbye to her career.
No artist should be bound to work under these conditions. Tell Sony: Free Kesha now and stop enforcing “rape contracts".
Kesha is locked into an exclusive contract with the man she says abused her, producer Dr. Luke, whose record label, Kemosabe Records, is owned by Sony.
Contracts like Kesha's are binding— including in the case of sexual or other abuse, according to Sony. And that's the problem. In cases of sexual assault, victims should be protected and taken seriously, not forced to stay under duress -- all for corporate profits.
Kesha argued in court that she could not work with Dr. Luke because she felt she was in danger. Sony argued it had invested $60 million in Kesha's career. Horrifyingly, the judge put Sony's corporate interests over Kesha's wellbeing, saying their “instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing."
Sony has agreed to let Kesha work with another producer -- but her work, and the profits from them, still belong to the man she says raped her.
Sony has no right to make Kesha, or any artist, choose between her own personal safety and her musical career. Join us in telling Sony: No more "rape contracts".
Kesha needs to be set free, now. But we also need to make sure that this kind of entrapment never happens again. Sony needs to make sure its artists are not made to fulfill contracts that endanger their safety. Thousands of fans have spoken up in support of Kesha, along with artists like Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson. If our community joins them in force, we'll be unstoppable.
Tell Sony to protect its artists now. It's time to Free Kesha and stop issuing "rape contracts".
Kesha's Plea To Get Out Of Her Contract With Dr. Luke Is Denied By Judge, Buzzfeed News, 19 February 2016
How We Failed to Protect Kesha, Jezebel, 19 February 2016
Kesha denied legal request to escape contract with man she alleges raped her, The Guardian, 19 February 2016