Kesha’s Denied Injunction Spits In The Faces Of Rape Victims

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The pop star who brought us such hits as “Tik Tok” and “Your Love Is My Drug” has been going through an intense legal battle over her contract with her producer and alleged rapist, Dr. Luke. Her lawsuit hit a snag last week when a New York judge denied Kesha an injunction that would have allowed her to record with other studios, instead forcing her to remain in her contract until the details of the lawsuit are settled.

Kesha’s fight against Dr. Luke has been in the public eye since 2013, when fans began the campaign to “Free Kesha” from Dr. Luke’s control. The singer soon revealed that her producer had not only restricted her music and lyrics, but verbally, physically and sexually abused her, culminating in a stay at a rehab facility. She filed the lawsuit in 2014 in an attempt to break her contract and record music elsewhere.

After the injunction was denied, Dr. Luke broke his silence on the matter, claiming he has never assaulted Kesha. Despite his statements, the singer has received an outpouring of support from fans and celebrities, including a $250,000 donation from Taylor Swift.

But regardless of whether or not you believe Dr. Luke or you believe Kesha, the denied injunction means the same thing: Dr. Luke and his record label’s money is more important than the well-being and mental state of the singer whom they claim to represent. Given the gravity of the allegations against Dr. Luke, it should not be the case that Kesha must stay in a career-throttling contract with her alleged abuser until he is proven guilty.

Contracts in the music industry are notoriously bad about allowing musicians any sort of artistic freedom, often signing them on for long periods of time with constricting regulations.  Of the injunction, the judge said, “You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry.”

What makes her case atypical, however, are the rape and abuse allegations. Denying her an out is an attempt to diminish her claims, and the action shows a lack of support for rape victims in general. It says to them that, until their claims are proven, it didn’t happen. This is a result of the victim-blaming society in which we live, where rape victims are questioned and their abusers are allowed to go free.

In Kesha’s case, what more proof is needed? She has gone through rehabilitation and treatment for the trauma she experienced, and is pursuing a lengthy and expensive legal solution to her misery. If an artist simply wanted to break a contract, there are simpler ways to do so.

Morgan McMurray
Morgan McMurray is an editor and gender equality blogger based in Seattle, Washington. A 2013 graduate of Iowa State University, she has a Bachelor of Arts in English, Journalism, and International Studies. She spends her free time writing, reading, teaching dance classes, and binge-watching Netflix. Contact Morgan at staff@LawStreetMedia.com.



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