Amber Coffman of The Dirty Projectors‘ account of sexual harassment. An essay about the music industry and online harassment by Best Coast‘s Bethany Cosentino. Countless other accounts and stories of women undergoing atrocious treatment in the music industry. It has gotten to the point where it’s just another status quo post sandwiched between click bait and Kanye‘s latest tweet storm. It’s a troubling epidemic to the point where I question why women even want to be apart of the music industry in the first place. My gut does somersaults every time one of these instances comes to light, but never have I been more appalled until I read today’s court ruling in Kesha‘s injunction request to be released from her recording contract to stop working with Dr. Luke who she filed a lawsuit against for alleged sexual assault.
Via The Hollywood Reporter, here’s the quote from New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich (and try to read it without vomiting):
“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” and because Dr. Luke invested $60 million into her career, it decimated Kesha’s argument, which lead her to say, “My instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing.”
Hmm. So, we encourage women to come out and talk about their horrific instances just to not believe them anyway? Not only is money worth more than a person’s well-being, but a corporation outweighs the needs of a person too. Where am I? Now, Kesha has to make the choice of recording six more albums with the company that did not take her claims seriously and with a man who she filed the lawsuit against for the alleged assault. Whose to say if Dr. Luke is not involved in the recording process for any of those albums that the record company would even promote the albums to the fullest extent? That sounds to me like you have just killed the career of an artist who has sold 60 million records for you worldwide.
For what she’s accomplished – this is the thanks she gets? You can disagree about her quality of music or what she sings about all day, but it does not make her less accomplished in her field. Why is it our job to contain someone’s worth based on what our perception of who they are or what we feel about what they do? There’s a little girl out there right now singing along to her favorite song in hopes of singing it on a stage one day. There’s another little girl who is writing lyrics in a journal or hammering keys on a piano. What type of message do you think it sends them to totally ignore the claims of someone who could be their hero? Here’s some sobering facts for you via Rainn: 293,000 instances of sexual assault a year, 68% of those are not reported, and get this, 98% of rapists never go to jail. Gee, I wonder why women have a tough time combating this.
Not to mention, the tweets and status comments from people calling them liars from even stating something happened to them. In an industry full of dreams, we sure took out our paint cans and tore up the whole place to make it look so ugly. Women have been in the front lines fighting, but us men have to join them too. Don’t we want a music industry where everybody can feel respected and comfortable to fully indulge in their dreams? Are we going to keep failing and publishing stories over and over again until we get it right somehow? I know that we have their posters on our wall – whether it be on the stage or on the street, let’s set a better example.