Kesha’s sexual assault case has been one of the most publicized rape cases in recent history. In October 2014, Kesha filed a suit against her producer, Dr. Luke, for drugging and raping her, continually assaulting her, and threatening to ruin her career if she ever reported him. The official counts against him are sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, civil harassment, violation of California’s unfair business laws, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligent infliction of emotional distress, and negligent retention and supervision. The case won’t start until 2017, so Kesha filed an injunction to break her contract with Dr. Luke. She was denied.
In the midst of the controversial and devastating articles about Kesha’s struggle, CBSNews released a list of 35 hit songs that Dr. Luke has written and produced. The intro of the list says,
You probably know that acclaimed music producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald has been accused by pop star Kesha of allegedly abusing her sexually and emotionally…What you might not know is that Dr. Luke has been the relatively anonymous force behind many of America’s favorite pop songs since the turn of the millennium.
The list of artists that he has worked with includes Katy Perry, Flo Rida, Avril Lavigne, Britney Spears, and Kelly Clarkson, who claims she was blackmailed into working with him.
Why are we quickly skipping over the fact that he is an accused rapist to talk about the awesome songs that he was involved in making? The most relevant contribution he has made to society recently is his denial that he has terrorized Kesha, and presumably other women, for years. This isn’t the first time that heinous crimes were overshadowed by talent. Chris Brown. OJ Simpson. R. Kelly. Michael Vick. Kobe Bryant. Ray Rice. These are all public figures whose allegations were swept under the rug because they were so beloved. They were able to get away with ruining lives, but were still forgiven and able to move on with their lives. We still bob our heads to “Five More Hours” or “Post To Be.” We still tune into Lakers games and praise the legacy.
It is appalling that not only are we supporting these offenders, we are belittling the accusers. It is not something easy or fun to file suits against somebody, and while some use the justice system to their own advantage, the ones we should support are the ones who have the strength to stand up for themselves. By highlighting Dr. Luke’s career, it is back-handedly stating that it doesn’t matter if he sexually assaulted a client, he has done enough good to counteract it. Who in their right mind would read past “you may know him from allegedly raping Kesha, but…”?
Stop right there.
That is enough to label him. Dr. Luke does not need any more support than what he already has from our society’s rape culture. Not only that, he is also a celebrity, a type of people with a long-running history of side-stepping the law. There a huge difference between “innocent until proven guilty” and “victim blaming.” The first defends the defendant while the second favors the defendant.
By allowing big cases to be dismissed without a second glance, it can trickle down to smaller cases, and in an extreme case, no one will be held accountable for their actions. We can’t stand idly by as the justice system fails us with the support of the media. This ends now..