The Wrap reported on Wednesday that Sony is planning to drop Kemosabe Records CEO and infamous producer Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald from his contract, due to increasing pressure put on the label since Kesha’s preliminary hearing last month.
The decision comes after dozens of artists came forward to publicly support Kesha Rose Sebert, who claims she was drug raped by Dr. Luke at 18 years old and abused for years afterwards. Noteworthy support comes from Lady Gaga who says she talks to Kesha every day and refuses to let her be victimized for something that “happens in the music industry all the time.”
Additional pressure hit the label this week when Kelly Clarkson revealed that her label threatened to suspend her career unless she worked with the producer again.
“The fact that this hasn’t already been taken care of is confusing, especially for people in the building,” one insider told The Wrap. “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.”
To drop Dr. Luke, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton will have to make a compromise with the producer.
“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,” The Wrap explained.
Alternatively, Sony can wait until Kemosabe Records’ contract ends in 2017 and refuse to extend said contract. Sources say the label does not want to wait until then.
The future of artists currently signed to Kemosabe Records is up in the air.
Update: An attorney speaking on behalf of Dr. Luke released the following statement to Entertainment Weekly:
“This is not true. Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up.”
A spokesperson for Sony refused to comment, giving no credibility or deniability to either side of this confusing story.