Kesha’s Case: Attention came too late
A case in which freedom is the goal, before anything else
Whenever something huge like this comes along we all believe that we’re experts. Just like in cases of Adnan Syed, subject of season 1 of the Serial podcast, and Steven Avery, subject of Making a Murderer, we like to make a fuss, we like to make petitions, we like to protest, but the devastating realist tends to be that we are simply too late.
Now before we go into it, we have to look into the. timeline of Kesha’s battle, even before the lawsuit was brought to light.
- In 2005 Kesha was convinced by Dr. Luke to drop out of high school and pursue music, leaving her family and hometown behind.
- Over the next ten years Dr. Luke would sexually, physically, verbally and emotionally abuse her.
- His abuse allowed him to gain full control over Kesha and her career
- The label, Kemosabe Records, whose parent company is Sony Music, did not only attempt to cover it up but also took no action against him.
- Dr. Luke allegedly used a date rape drug and raped Kesha, telling her the pills he was giving her were “sober pills”.
- His abuse resulted in her deteriorating health and has resulted in her having to enter rehab to save her life.
- Doctors have concluded that Dr. Luke has physically and psychologically damaged Kesha.
- On October 13th 2014 a lawsuit against Dr. Luke and other parties involved was filed by Kesha’s lawyers.
- The lawsuit outlines 8 charges. The lawsuit also asks to basically terminate her contract with Dr. Luke and his company.
- On the 19th of February 2016, Kesha lost her legal battle and is now still stuck under the abusive control of Dr. Luke and cannot release music without him.
If any of the statements above seem shocking to you, you aren’t alone, but nor are you seeing anything close to the full picture. A full copy of the lawsuit can be found on The Hollywood Reporter. What I learned pretty quickly from reading this lawsuit was that Kesha essentially never did have any control over her career. And that she was always going to be almost a lost cause in this legal battle because the abuse went over 10 years, meaning that hard evidence might have been hard to come by. Not to mention that Kesha was in a position of putting herself and her family in danger if she went to the press about this. The lawsuit paints Dr. Luke out to be a terrifying man, a manipulator, a villain, a man who doesn’t hear “No” and a man who has no fear.
But I don’t want to get into the legal side of it all. Like I said, we aren’t lawyers. We don’t know how the system works. We can’t know why the judge decided to deny her injunction rather than make an exception due to the extreme circumstances. Even if there was a lack of physical evidence of rape, clearly there is still enough evidence to show Kesha being abused under Dr. Luke, am I wrong in thinking that? Maybe, I’m not the judge, sadly.
The real issue, which sadly is the case in many rape cases, is that many times the cases go unreported. Which technically Kesha’s case did, it only came to light in 2014 and if any of you remember it, which I doubt, then you’ll realise that it got little to no coverage from the media. And it would be unfair to treat this like a regular case of rape. The added factor of Kesha’s celebrity status may have given people reason to believe she’s creating a legal fuss to promote her self image for an upcoming album, but she has no album to promote.
Although no woman has reason to lie about rape, some may still do it, but in the case of Kesha, she isn’t seeking for much, she simply wanted freedom. Kesha would have been happy to have been free of her contract. Realistically had Kesha won, she may actually have been blacklisted as an artist who was riskier to work with or may not cooperate as well. Kesha has plenty to lose by winning, so why would she lie? There isn’t any disputing her mental and physical state, so we know she isn’t lying. And if you really think she is, just come up with ONE reasonable, provable and realistic reason as to why an artist who is worth a reported $40 million dollars would lie about this. Kesha gains no extra fame, she gains no money, she gains nothing except freedom.
I see several issues with how we, the people, have reacted to this case. The first thing, something that I too am guilty of, is that in 2014 we paid it no attention. Normally when an artist who is going through her prime years, or even early successful years, would be expected to pride music yearly, yet Kesha hasn’t produced anything since her 2012 album Warrior. And maybe that’s where a lot of us fell short, rather than look for Kesha we simply assumed she’d release some music in 2014. We were so busy looking for her music that we completely overlooked her lawsuit against Dr. Luke, I believe that was our first mistake.
Our second mistake came recently, when many of us celebrated a “victory” in the Kesha case, which came in the form of a judge dropping Dr. Luke’s lawsuit against Kesha’s mother for telling the truth. This was shared on social media widely and reported incorrectly, many corporations gave it the headline of “Kesha has Legal Victory”. People assumed she had won and dropped it all. She was in fact still due to appear in court to hear the decision.
The third mistake was actually one that we didn’t have the chance to make, but the judge handed it to us on a silver platter. He pushed the date back to February 19th. This was an irritation for Kesha and Co. but it gave us, the public, ample time to rally behind her. To create a shit storm so large that it would be public outrage to deny her freedom. And although it rarely works, just look at Police Officers VS Unarmed Black Teenagers, it could have given a push. Who knows?
Our fourth mistake? It’s our reaction. The majority of people are kicking up a fuss NOW. At a time that we don’t know what will happen and we don’t know if Kesha will ever be free. And it sounds hypocritical to say we don’t rally behind every woman like this, but had Kesha won this case it would have, and could have been used in court to show how similar situations DESERVE the similar treatment. But back to our reaction, we started the hashtag #FreeKesha which was wonderful. We stand in solidarity with her, but where we mess up is where we decide to compare Kesha’s situation to situations like Zayn Malik leaving 1D and Chris Brown being allowed to return to the music business despite his abuse against Rihanna. Dragging these names into the conversation muddies it up. On Twitter it has caused a conversation about race, and whether or not black men and white men are treated the same in abuse cases, THAT IS NOT THE CONVERSATION WE NEED SURROUNDING KESHA’S CASE.
But these are the conversations that will begin to surround Kesha’s case. And I pray that people realise that this conversation is not about other artists, it’s about Kesha and how her producer and literally almost killed her through his abuse. Like I said in the beginning, I am no lawyer, but I do believe justice will be given to Kesha at some point. I’m glad to see so many people rallying behind Kesha and I hope it brings forward a change, not only for her, but for all victims of rape and abuse. I stand with Kesha and I stand with all people who are victims of sexual abuse. #FreeKesha