Sony to Drop Dr. Luke in Wake of Kesha Lawsuit
Update: A rep for Dr. Luke denies reports that Sony is planning to sever ties with the producer. "Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony," the producer's attorney Christine Lepera said in a statement to the Los Angeles Times. "His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up."
Original post: Throughout its legal battles with Kesha, Sony Music stood by Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, the music producer accused of abusing the singer. But despite the initial legal victory to stay Kesha’s contract with the music label, Sony has clearly lost in the court of public opinion. There has been an outpouring of support for Kesha and, according to the Wrap, Sony has now decided to cut ties with the producer one year before his contract expires.
Though neither Sony nor Gottwald confirmed news of a split, insiders hinted to the Wrap that the income from Dr. Luke’s label, Kemosabe — whose biggest star, Kesha, hasn’t released new music since 2012—isn’t worth the negative P.R. surrounding him. "There is no contest. Kesha has no case in regards to her contract but they can’t afford the Adeles of the world out in the streets calling the label unsupportive," an inside source told the Wrap. The fact that this hasn't already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building."
When Adele stood up in support of Kesha at the Brit Awards last month, she said, pointedly, "I'd like to take a quick second just to thank my manager and my record label [XL Recordings] for embracing the fact that I'm a woman and being encouraged by it. And I would also like to take this moment to publicly support Kesha."
Though it’s clear that the public support from the likes of Adele, Taylor Swift, Demi Lovato, and Kelly Clarkson have turned Sony’s relationship with Dr. Luke into a public-relations nightmare, they don't have any legal grounds to terminate his contract early.
"Somebody has been convicted via Twitter," a second Sony source told the Wrap. "No court has convicted this person, so there may not be any legal basis to terminate an agreement. It would have to be mutual." As the Wrap puts it, "Any unilateral dissolution of the contract would be a direct breach, so a negotiated exit would be most likely to save face on both sides."
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