On Friday, more than 100 protestors supporting Kesha in her legal battle against producer Dr. Luke and Sony Music Entertainment will march onto the record label’s New York City headquarters.
The group plans to deliver petitions with over 411,000 signatures urging the label to free Kesha from her contract in wake of claims that Luke abused her sexually and emotionally. The producer, who has not been criminally charged, has denied the allegations and filed a countersuit against the singer.
Four petitions will be delivered in total: a Care2 petition with over 221,9000 signatures, two UltraViolet petitions with over 69,600 signatures combined and a SumOfUs petition with more than 120,400 signatures.
Supporters also plan to project the hashtag #FreeKesha onto the face of the Sony building between 7 and 7:30 p.m. that day.
“I don’t know where I would be without Kesha’s music,” Care2 protest organizer Michael Eisele said. “She’s always fought for people like me; now we are fighting for her.”
Kesha’s lawsuit names Sony, as well, because she argues the company “had knowledge of Dr. Luke treating female entertainers under his tutelage and supervision in the same manner as alleged here regarding Ms. Sebert, which includes both physical and emotional abuse.”
The singer had sought an injunction allowing her to record outside of her contract, but in February a judge shot the request down, contending that she could record under her Sony contract with another producer.
According to the press release, Sony has said it cannot free Kesha from her contract because it was signed between her and Dr. Luke’s company, Kasz Money in 2005, which was then moved to Sony Music subsidiary RCA/Jive after Dr. Luke signed a distribution deal. Then, RCA/Jive dissolved and Kesha’s contract moved to Kemosabe Records, another Sony subsidiary.
“Sony has stopped short of leveraging its unique position as parent company to Dr. Luke’s label,” said Julie Mastrine, Care2’s activism marketing and social media manager. “Sony can do more to pressure its subsidiary to voluntarily end Kesha’s contract.”
“By continuing to force Kesha to work with Dr. Luke, Sony is sending a clear signal to music fans that they stand with rapists and against survivors,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. “This year, Sony Music executives have the opportunity to send a clear signal to music fans and performing artists around the world that rape and sexual assault will never be tolerated. Now is the time for Sony to stand with Kesha, and end their contract with Dr. Luke’s Kemosabe Records.”
“No artist should be bound to work for their alleged rapist in order to protect corporate profit,” said Nicole Carty, senior campaigner at SumOfUs. “Sony needs to take the protection of its artist seriously and do everything in its power to free Kesha from this contract.”