Kesha v. Sony not just a ‘feminist issue’

By Managing Editor


ou can see the love on #FreeKesha. Within hours of a Feb. 19 court ruling preventing her from breaking her contact with music producer Dr. Luke, whom she accuses of drugging and sexually assaulting her, other artists and celebrities began turning out in support.

Two days after the court decision, Taylor Swift donated $250,000 to Kesha “to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time.”

Soon after, Lady Gaga—who has also openly spoke of her own experiences being sexually abused in the music industry—offered a heartfelt message of support and made headlines sharing photos of the two of them hanging out.

Even Adele chimed in on the situation, using her “British Female Solo Artist” acceptance speech at the 2016 BRIT awards to “publicly support Kesha.”

A number of other celebrities, including Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Lorde, have joined in on Twitter support of Kesha.

Largely missing from the cries of support for Kesha following the court decision, however, are male artists.

Kesha’s accusations against Dr. Luke have evolved beyond a high-profile court case and into a feminist issue that highlights the innate sexism of the music industry.

Bringing men into the conversation would confirm that everyone has a stake in ending the exploitation endemic to the music industry—not just women.

Up until now, very few men have spoken in support of Kesha, other than Snoop Dogg, who shared an image on Instagram originally posted by Fiona Apple, reading “Kesha— I am so angry for you. They were wrong. I’m so sorry.”

Adding to Snoop Dogg’s words of support for Kesha were famed producers Zedd and Jack Antonoff, who both invited the pop star to make music with them in light of her situation.

Antonoff’s words are unsurprising, given that his girlfriend, Lena Dunham, an actress and writer who openly identifies as a feminist, shared an open letter supporting Kesha in her online newsletter, Lenny Letter.

Zedd’s and Antonoff’s words hold importance, nonetheless, given that both are music producers who are willing to take a stand against other music producers taking advantage of young female talent.

Still, support from men for Kesha at this time is not as prevalent as that coming from women in the industry.

While women have fearlessly expressed support of the singer, some of the most popular male artists, such as Justin Bieber, Drake or even Zayn Malik—who recently canceled his contract with the same label because he was “unhappy”—have stayed silent.

Kesha is not the first woman to speak out against sexual abuse within the music industry, nor will she be the last. To put an end to this ongoing issue and make music a safe and welcoming place for both men and women, men will need to join in the fight.