You probably heard or read Demi Lovato‘s name, in the last few days, attached to the sad and controversial case of #FreeKesha. An online campaign, not started by Lovato, but shared and discussed by many as pop singer Kesha is fighting to be released from her Sony contract. Kesha wants out because she has accused her former go-to collaborator, famed pop producer Dr. Luke of drugging her, rape, and sexual assault starting in 2006 (her music career took off after the success of “Tik Tok” in 2009). From 2013, the creative relationship really began to fray between Kesha and Luke as the singer voiced that her input was often overlooked for the direction of her second LP (the underrated) Warrior and the unintentionally bad-timing of the pretty cheerful single “Die Young”, was a song she didn’t want to sing in the first place. (Just some weeks after it was released, the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy occurred in Connecticut).
From there, Kesha had an emotionally turbulent spiral as she entered rehab and her complaint against Luke was underway. But it’s only been this past week that the media, and celebrities, began to pay attention to the travesty of her case. She was photographed crying in a New York City court where a judge proclaimed that she shouldn’t be released from Sony because leaving her current 6-album contract would “irreparable harm” to Sony and that she could continue to make music and work with other producers who are not Dr. Luke. Sony granted her this form of leeway from her situation. Kesha, however, wants nothing to do with the record label that houses her alleged rapist. And Dr. Luke also owns a part of her contractual agreements. The judge essentially chose Sony over Kesha’s well-being and safety.
The photo of her tears went viral and plenty of media outlets suddenly expressed interest in #FreeKesha. It may be the biggest example in popular culture and media coverage, as of late, regarding rape, sexual assault and “rape culture” since the slew of women that came forward against former beloved comedian Bill Cosby. A lot of women artists have showed solidarity to Kesha, tweeting her support and well wishes for her request to be released from Sony. Lovato, in particular, was extremely vocal in her dismay at the case but also from the lack of heightened support from all women who claim to be “feminist” but when it comes to matters like Kesha, react quietly. Some thought that Lovato was indirectly referring to Taylor Swift, who, before her thoughtful donation of $250,000 for Kesha’s legal fees, hadn’t tweeted or said anything about the case, but has been painted in a media as a human billboard for (White) feminism.
Lovato was then labelled as a hater and an opportunist of sorts for using #FreeKesha as a means to voice jealously or sub-tweets towards Swift, (it all sure escalated quickly), but truthfully, it seems the entire media is doing the same in some shape or form. This case has been going on for some time now. Why just now are think pieces being given the “Publish” button? Was the media, at least, trying to give the justice system the benefit of the doubt that it would do the right thing or sensitive choice and let Kesha free?
Yesterday, Lovato posted the above The Enliven Project infographic after another day of back and forths on Twitter and Instagram with commentators, and a fuller explanation of her inflamed tweets. Huffington Post Women published an article about the lasting effect of naysayers and those that doubt Kesha, and even Cosby’s accusers, as prime examples of why so few rapes, sexual assaults, and abuses, in general, go unreported. Let alone, the assholes jailed for their crimes. Rapists often do not get punished for their immoral decisions.
It was great and powerful of Lovato to post that uncomfortable, but necessary image on her Instagram. Let’s hope it stays there and the picture bigger of why #FreeKesha is important to the justice of too many victims of abusive experiences.
And as far as Kesha’s limited choices on what to do next, Gothamist summed it up in one sentence and it is depressing.
So currently, Kesha has few options: work on another album for Sony under the watch of her alleged abuser, produce her own music illegally, or stop working.