Producers continue to take advantage of ‘Crazy Kids’

By Managing Editor

Kesha and songwriter/producer Dr. Luke have dominated the headlines in the last week after the pop star filed a lawsuit against Luke on Oct. 14 for allegations of sexual, physical and verbal abuse, according to an Oct. 14 Billboard report. 

The 27-year-old star filed a 28-page complaint, which details alleged accounts of rape and mental torment by Luke along with other kinds of abuse the pop star says she experienced at Luke’s hands since being signed to the producer’s label at age 18 and moving to Los Angeles, according to the Billboard article. 

The news has sparked debates about why the pop star waited nearly 10 years to address some of the alleged incidents as well as why she did not report the alleged acts to the police when they occurred. Others wonder how the case can proceed without medical evidence to support her claims, given the passage of time. 

Since the lawsuit was filed Oct. 14, Luke has struck back by countersuing for defamation and denouncing the lawsuit as extortion and a ploy to dissolve her recording contract, which currently requires that she produce six albums, only two of which have been released so far, according to the Billboard article. 

Media accounts have noted that Kesha’s lawsuit is one of several similar attempts by artists to pursue litigation in order to get out of their recording contracts, and attorney Larry Iser said in the Billboard article that Kesha’s allegations are in line with a long-standing trend of these types of complaints in the music industry. 

While it is true that many artists have turned to litigation to dissolve their recording contracts, the reaction to Kesha’s lawsuit fails to address another trend in the music industry that has been ignored for far too long—the exploitation of young female artists.

If Kesha wanted to pursue litigation to end her contract prematurely, she could have done so without making such severe and personal complaints—something most critics have failed to recognize thus far. 

Assuming her allegations are not unfounded, Kesha is taking a stand against an issue that has been prevalent in the music industry for decades.

According to the Billboard article, Kesha reported that the first incident of rape occurred when she was just 18 years old, and while some might use this as “evidence” that she is making false claims against Luke based on the assumption that she would have rung the bell on Luke sooner, critics have failed to acknowledge that Kesha was vulnerable at the time—she was young, broke, alone and lacked the star power she has now that can ensure her voice is heard.

Rather than debating whether Kesha’s lawsuit is valid, critics and fans alike should be more focused on the larger problem within the music industry—the trend of producers and other higher-ups in the industry who are taking severe and inexcusable advantage of young performers and enabling their peers to do the same, and that many of them are too often getting away with it.