Story by Connor Dirkson, Reporter
Photo courtesy of The Odyssey
By now, you’ve probably heard about the #FreeKesha case.
For those unfamiliar, I encourage you to read Abigale Racine’s recent Saint article, “#FREEKESHA: Everything you need to know.”
A quick refresher: In October 2014, pop star Ke$ha sued producer Dr. Luke, be granted freedom to record under any record label other than the Lukasz-founded label Kemosabe Records. BuzzFeed news reporter, Matt Stopera, provides a summary of Sebert’s case, stating that Lukasz subjected Sebert to emotional, verbal, and physical abuse, including the forced use of “Date Rape Drug” GHB mixed with alcohol.
On February 19 2016, the New York State Supreme Court ruled against Sebert’s case, believing the $60 Million investment in Sebert’s career makes her ruling “the commercially reasonable thing,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Let that sink in for a moment.
A State Supreme Court Judge believes any allegations of assault are justified because Dr.Luke chose to invest his money in Sebert.
The Judge also indicated a lack of evidence backing Sebert’s claim regarding the assault and drugging, but the half-life of GHB allows it to be eliminated from the body within hours of ingestion.
Nearly seventy percent of sexual assaults are never reported, and it’s no surprise why, assuming Sebert’s case to be fairly typical of others’ experiences.
Obviously, we want to assume the best of people. We don’t want to think of celebrities as rapists. We don’t want to think of anyone as a rapist.
For the same reasons teen pregnancy rates increase in areas with compulsory abstinence-only education, we aren’t taught the value of affirmative, conscious, and voluntary consent. When we look at the case with Sebert and Lukasz, like the Judge, we may feel inclined to side with Lukasz simply because there’s no proof.
Even disregarding whether Lukasz assaulted Sebert, the relationship they share clearly transcends appropriate professional boundaries. Pictures from the courtroom show Sebert in tears. The “commercially reasonable” decision seems about as far from reasonable one could get.
The commercial and reasonable outcomes of this situation should not influence each other in any way, and if it does, a continued partnership between Lukasz and Sebert will not bode well for anyone. If Sebert stays with Kemosabe Records, there’s little chance her career will continue past this time. Four years have passed since her last album, which doesn’t leave much room for a comeback in the pop industry.
The “commercially reasonable” thing to do, if that’s truly what to strive for, would be to allow Sebert to continue recording under any number of Sony’s subsidiaries without Lukasz. It is in Sony’s best interest to facilitate a separation of the artists. They can capitalize on the solidarity play while Sebert moves past this to continue doing what she loves: promoting positivity and love for all through feel-good party music.