Sony Music will reportedly drop superstar producer Dr. Luke from its label. The songwriter and producer was accused of sexual assault by American singer/songwriter Kesha, one of the performers he produced music for. Kesha and Dr. Luke just concluded a lengthy legal battle, where the singer’s attempt to be released from her contract was thrown out by the court.
Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald has produced and written chart-topping music for artists like Katy Perry, Kelly Clarkson, and Nicki Minaj. Gottwald has produced every one of Kesha’s albums, and has an exclusive contract with the pop singer. Before Kesha filed her lawsuit, she complained that the producer stunted her creative work for years and refused to let her put her own songs on her albums.
In October 2014, Kesha sued Gottwald for sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, emotional abuse, and violation of California business practices. The offenses allegedly occurred over their ten-year creative and professional relationship.
After the lawsuit, Kesha refused to work with Gottwald. However, he and Sony Music refused to release Kesha from her exclusive contract, essentially preventing the pop star from recording any new music. The two year gap in new recordings has already affected Kesha’s relevance in the fast-moving world of pop music.
— billboard (@billboard) March 10, 2016
On February 19, a New York judge denied Kesha an injunction, keeping her in her contract with the producer. However, fans and fellow musicians supported her throughout the legal battle. Kelly Clarkson and Adele spoke out against Gottwald, and Kesha fans on Twitter tweeted their support for the singer with the hashtag #FreeKesha.
Few details about the specifics of Sony’s reported plans to drop the Top 40 hitmaker are available. But according to SPIN, a unilateral dissolution of Sony and Gottwald’s contract would be “a direct breach.” The two parties will likely work towards a negotiated exit to “save face on both sides.”