The Case of Kesha
Kesha, Dr. Luke and what little progress is made when money is the bottom line
I’ve never really liked electro pop, let alone her first single Tik Tok and the many top twenty hits to come after that. However, the issue here isn’t the talent or artistry of miss Kesha Rose Serbert. The issue is, as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, explains creating a hostile work environment where an employee is made to feel unsafe. But sadly, Last week the legal system took the philosophy that money talks and bullshit walks. A New York Judge denied Kesha a court injunction that would have allowed her the freedom to produce music outside Sony Music and better yet the agency to work with anyone, especially anyone who wasn’t Dr. Luke. Of course, the caviat is Dr. Luke(Is Dr. a new term for predator, Dr. Cosby?) agreed to help Miss Kesha with financial needs at a cost of $250,000.
In this case, Dr. Luke represented money. The protection of a woman whose mistreatment had lead to rehab and eating disorders represented bullshit. This says a lot about where we truly are as a country when it comes to protecting victims.
Yes, many women coming forward with rape allegations against Bill Cosby represents a shift in victims being outspoken and seeking justice against men of power.
Yes, Tumblr can act as a mirror into the consent culture that future generations may value.
However, this verdict exposed something deeply disappointing and painfully true about our society and how it protects victims of sexual abuse and harassment.
It exposed that a man with money and status can easily be above the law.
This lawsuit is a by-product of an industry where artist(even the most talented) are pressured to gain status through their sexuality. At times the Hollywood sex symbol can be empowering(think, Amber Rose and her sex positive slut walk). Other times it can be a form of objectification (Think, well Kesha being controlled like a puppet and verbally/physically abused to the point that she develops bulimia and has to enter rehab).
It is important to note that in 2011, Kesha testified in a deposition that Dr. Luke “Gottwald” never made advances towards her. However, we have to keep in mind that she also stated a sole belief that Dr. Luke had the status and money to commit all of his threats. Which brings to mind the question of Stockholm syndrome, a psychological phenomenon where hostages express empathy/sympathy and irrationalize the danger or risk endured by the victims. This is apart of the reason why many people who are victims become affectionate towards their kidnappers(regular abuse leads to normalization. Ask any woman that has been battered). It may also be the reason why many black people didn’t escape during the slavery era.
Maybe its a stretch but when people have been abused for years, this dangerous, hostile environment that is created becomes routine. Is it possible that the abuse had been so normalized and the weight of Dr. Luke’s money and status had become so apparent that Miss Kesha Sebert stated that he had never physically harmed her for fear that at the end of the day, the legal system would only recognize Dr. Luke’s Clout, and ignore the protection of an American pop star.
However, there is hope in the outpouring of support for Kesha. The free Kesha movement has garnered many supporters including fans, feminist activist, and pop stars such as Lady Gaga, Grimes, Lorde, Lily Allen, Kelly Clarkson and Fiona Apple.
Recently, Jack Antonoff, Zed has offered to help Kesha make music, in response to the Dr. Luke verdict. Taylor Swift has even donated $250,000 to help miss Serbert with legal cost. It says a lot when many people within the industry are coming together to support this artist. It says a lot about what is behind the glossy magazine shoots and toothy red carpet events. The number of pop artist and entertainers coming forward to support Kesha says a lot about an enduring problem in this industry, and their outspoken support may represent the end of this exploitation.