Tik Tok on the clock
ABBY GENTRY | OPINION EDITOR
A signature on a piece of paper is the only thing keeping pop star Ke$ha tied to her alleged, abusive producer, Dr. Luke. The singer is now suing her producer for the emotional, physical, and verbal abuse that occurred over a decade ago. After taking the case to a Supreme Court judge, the judge denied Ke$ha out of her contract claiming that there was not enough evidence to confirm her accusations.
This disturbing case has received a great amount of attention with many celebrities such as Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, Annalynne McCord, and more showing support for Ke$ha. The issue with this court case lies in the question of whether a piece of paper is enough to deny someone the right to their own personal comfort in extreme cases. While I think documentation and honor of word should be upheld in society, there are several extreme cases where one’s comfort and right to creative freedom should trump a contract signed years ago, especially with such a dramatic change of circumstance.
This case is especially tricky with no evidence and the fact that it happened over a decade ago. Dr. Luke is accusing Ke$ha of spreading outright lies and claiming that this is all a stunt to negotiate a better contract for herself and her career. In response to this, Ke$ha shares that it was never about her own recognition but rather a need to be free from her abuser. Dr. Luke has taken to Twitter to share his side of the story. Through several convincing tweets, he has gained a following of supporters who agree that Ke$ha may be using this as an out of her contract. One of the more startling pieces of evidence is a quote from Ke$ha’s testimony in June 2011 saying that, “Dr. Luke never made sexual advances at me.” In that same case when asked if he ever gave her a roofie she responded “no” or whether there was ever an intimate relationship between the two she also responded “no.”
Amidst all the chaos and accusations, Sony Records claims that they are in no position to terminate a contract. However, the company has said that she will not have to work directly under him but rather work for others who ultimately report to Dr. Luke. Either way, he will be the one she has to work for and take orders from which hardly seems fair.
Sophomore Ashlyn Prendergast similarly feels the struggle of choosing a side when the situation is so sticky.
“Situations like these are tricky for me,” Prendergast said. “When you don’t know exactly what happened it’s difficult to take a stand because you don’t want either of their lives to be affected in a negative way for the wrong reason.”
In this difficult case, it is hard for me to know exactly where I stand. Part of me understands the importance of respecting contracts and your word. Contracts exist for a reason and serve a purpose; if everyone began to go back on their word, we would witness absolute turmoil. On the other hand, it is even more crucial to sympathize and understand that when life dramatically takes a turn for the worse, contracts and rules should work with those cases.
Junior Keely Palla shares how this case should be viewed on a deeper level.
“When thinking about Ke$ha and the recent issue, it is important that we view the situation as affecting every individual rather than getting caught up in her famed status as a celebrity,” Palla said. “The attention of the media can be used as a positive resource of advocating for the justice of the treatment of any individual rather than just a surface level attention outlet.”
At the end of the day, no one was there. No one will ever know what actually happened between the songstress and her producer.
For a woman to be forced to work for and report to the man who has caused her so much physical and emotional pain seems inhumane to me. In sticky situations such as these, sometimes it is best to take action in such a way that the benefits outweigh the risks. It pains me to think that if these accusations are not true, Dr. Luke has the potential to lose his job, reputation, and family. On the flip side, if the accusations are true, no one should be required to work under someone who has at one point attacked them, whether it be physical, verbal, or emotional. These sticky accusations should provoke people to think about how justice should be served to those involved when the answer is not crystal clear.
Observing this case from an outsider perspective, I hope that whatever happens in the outcome is a result of finding out the truth and bringing justice to those who have been harmed.