Yesterday, we touched on the subject of public outrage with the decision of a New York State Supreme Court Judge. He ruled that Kesha must stay in her contract with her label, Sony, and Dr. Luke. Today, as part of an ongoing conversation, we’re going to talk about what seems to be a double standard of contractual agreements in the music industry.
Kesha is required to finish her contract without edit with Sony. She now must put out six more albums with her alleged abused Dr. Luke. Many have expressed outrage over this, and some people are raising the question of blatant sexism in the music industry.
As I’m sure most of us remember, back in 2009 Chris Brown was charged with brutally beating his then-girlfriend Rihanna. The results of the beating were so bad that Rihanna had to be hospitalized. Through all his legal battles, Brown’s career did not slow down nearly as much as Kesha’s. In fact, it didn’t slow down at all. Since the incident, he has released six albums. Kesha has not been able to release an album since 2014.
The conclusion among the public? Women are forced to suffer more than men when things like this happen. Should the allegations be true, Kesha is being put in immediate danger by being forced to work with her abuser. And for Dr. Luke? He has continued to work throughout this entire time.
“Upholding the contract without allowing even temporary deviation from it essentially absolves Dr. Luke—it’s a tacit suggestion that he’s not guilty, or that if he is guilty, Kesha’s accusations are frivolous in the face of more important concerns, like her monetary value to Sony. Heaven forbid an injured woman inconvenience a large corporation from banking checks! The prevailing message is that Kesha signed up for this—and any abuse she’s suffered in the meantime is collateral damage.”
–How We’re Failing Kesha via Noisey
Really, Kesha’s request isn’t a far-fetched one. Another artist who recently requested to be released from his contract was Zayn Malik of One Direction. His reason of course was wildly different than Kesha’s. However, it was also a lot less threatening to Malik’s well-being. The court agreed, and though it was thought that Malik could not make music for two more years (which later proved to be false), he was still released and soon after signed a solo record deal.
It’s important to examine ourselves as a society when things like this happen. Obviously, the solutions to these problems cannot be solved overnight. However, we’re working to get the conversation going by raising these double standards.