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#FreeKesha: All You Need To Know About The Hashtag (2016-2022)

FreeKesha

Back in 2016, stars like Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, and more were mobilizing for Kesha who was going to court. The American singer was attacking her producer for rape and harassment, but the judge did not turn in her favor. The producer in question is none other than Dr. Luke who is responsible for looking after many young artists like Kim Petras today in 2022. So as the years go by has the #FreeKesha movement seen any growth? Why was Kesha’s judgment in favor of the alleged attacker? Or does the #FreeKesha situation deal with conservatorship issues like Brittney Spears did? Let’s find out. 

#FreeKesha: Similar To Britney Spears? Not Really, Here’s Why! 

2014- 2016:

According to Rolling Stone, Dr. Luke, real name Lukasz Gottwald, sued Kesha in New York in October 2014, the same day after she filed a dueling lawsuit against him in Los Angeles.

The singer of “TiK ToK” and “Die Young” accuses the latter of having raped her ten years ago and of having physically and mentally harassed her since. Consequently, she claims that justice breaks the contract which unites them and which prohibits her from recording with other producers or record companies.

By February 2016, the American singer found herself in court in a lawsuit against producer Lukasz Gottwald, alias Dr. Luke, (who has worked with other world-famous singers such as Avril Lavigne or Britney Spears) who produced and co-wrote her first two albums and owner of the label on which the young woman signed. 

But Judge Shirley Kornreich ruled in favor of the producer.

“You’re asking the court to terminate a contract that was hard-negotiated and standard in the recording industry,” she told Kesha’s attorney. 

Dr. Luke’s lawyers have indeed pointed out that he had invested 60 million dollars in the career of the singer, and that he had given her authorization to record without her participation, undermining the main argument of Kesha.

Faced with this decision, many artists have spoken on social networks to support the young woman. Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, Iggy Azalea, Fiona Apple, Lily Allen, Kate Nash, Lady Gaga, Adam Lambert, Sara Bareilles, Lorde, Kelly Clarkson and JoJo all tweeted their support for the young woman. 

Taylor Swift also chose her side, offering the singer $250,000 to finance her legal costs. The controversial sentence also turned many against the record company: Sony. The petition started on the Change.org platform to boycott Sony products as a measure of pressure, has been seconded by more than 120,000 signatories. 

Why did Kesha lose the case in 2016?

In her conclusions, judge Shirley Kornreich pointed out that the label had offered Kesha to record without the participation of Dr. Luke, something that the singer’s lawyer defined as an “evasive promise”.

The debate has even reached the department of the United Nations which watches over gender equality. Adding to the hashtag #FreeKesha, she shared an article that reflects on how this type of case prevents women from reporting episodes of harassment of which they are victims:

“FreeKesha can serve to shed light on how difficult it is to seek justice in cases of alleged rape”

In her complaint, Kesha had assured that her manager forced her to use drugs and subsequently abused her both physically and verbally. After undergoing detoxification treatment and overcoming a bulimia nervosa, the young woman took legal action to dissociate herself from Dr. Luke – who has always denied her accusations – and “regain control of her musical career.” 

2017: 

After the singer revealed in various interviews that her career has been stalled because of her 2 year legal battles with the producer, Kesha withdrew her stalled civil lawsuit in August 2016. 

After a nearly two-year battle in 2017 the story took a big turn that continued to shock the music industry: He threatened to launch a new defamation lawsuit, this time with a 2016 text message Kesha sent to Lady Gaga, in which she alleged that he had raped Katy Perry. 

A couple of months later, Lady Gaga with hits like Bad Romance, Always Remember Us This Way, or Poker Face was summoned and, according to Vulture, the actress and singer was forced to deliver the texts without redacting. 

Katy Perry, famous for “I Kissed A Girl” and “Roar”, was also called.

While Katy confirmed that the producer did not sexually assault her, the songstress behind “Bad Romance” aka Lady Gaga showed unconditional support  which generated a movement that lovers of pop music remember very well –  #FreeBritney is not only one of the most popular and fruitful movements in recent times that gave the singer of hits like Gimme More, Baby One More Time or Toxic her freedom from an involuntary conservative that finally ended in 2021. 

2021-2022:

Since many female artists stuck together for victims of abuse in the female entertainment industry, it helped give freedom to at least ONE of the most successful female soloists in the history of mankind: Mrs. Britney Spears 

#FreeKesha is the attempt of pop culture to give the singer freedom in the same way that months ago the world helped with social pressure so that Spears today is an independent woman. Kesha at the time not only emphasized Britney but also made public her unconditional support, being herself a woman in the music industry who is also in legal, creative, and entertainment abuse.

“Unholy” singer Kim Petras on the other hand continues to defend her work with Dr. Luke ahead of the Kesha trial. 

As Kesha’s trial nears, Kim Petras has defended working with music producer Dr Luke as of Nov 27, 2022.

The “Slut Pop” singer  took to Twitter and tweeted, “get talented or good at anything then talk to me,” which seemed like a dig at her enemies. 

Under her original tweet, a fan responded by saying “stop defending Dr Luke first”, alluding to singer Kesha’s sexual abuse allegations. Then the singer went on to defend her decision to work with the music producer, “5000000 people work with him why you only come on me. I have nothing to be ashamed of at all or say or be, so leave.”

While  the singer has since deleted her reply tweet, Kim Petras continues to defend her work with Dr. Luke as Kesha’s trial nears. 

The heated debate online came just two months from a trial involving Kesha and Dr Luke. Her complaint alleged that the music producer knocked her out with an unknown substance and raped her for nearly a decade of alleged sexual, physical and emotional abuse.

According to TMZ, Petras continued with a lot of back and forth with Kesha fans but eventually gave up while deleting most of her tweets. She hinted that she was “sick of arguing”. 

Previously, Petras made a statement about their relationship in 2018 with Interview Magazine, when asked about her collaboration with Dr. Luke. “My answer is that as I know him he was really great and supportive and I learned a lot from him. He’s been a really nice person and I wasn’t there when the whole thing [with Kesha] came down, but in my experience he’s a great guy and I had a great time working with him. That same year, Troye Sivan faced backlash for choosing to book Kim as his supporting act. Finally, Troye added that he wanted to “treat Kim the same way I would like to be treated when my inevitable big mess comes around.” Thus in conclusion, Troye Sivan has the most mind blowing opinion that makes such a broad situation a lot more narrow. 

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