Despite the record label’s beloved roster and incredible talent, Sony’s business is weakening, and no one can cover it up. This year alone, the company suffered continuous box office failures, faced email hacks revealing racism running amok among executives, and may have lost $2 billion. Right before the trainwreck starts over on January 1, Sony is now under fire for its weakest move yet: comparing Kesha’s rape lawsuit to Adele giving birth.
Last year, Kesha Rose Sebert (formerly Ke$ha) filed a lawsuit against producer Dr. Luke for alleged sexual assault, as well as Sony for knowingly allowing it to continue and possibly even working to cover it up — that’s in the court documents, it’s not just my opinion. In a shocking twist, Sony ordered that Kesha may not continue working to finish her record contract unless she works with her alleged abuser, Dr. Luke. The producer has since worked with Maroon 5, Wiz Khalifa, and Nicki Minaj among others.
Sony clearly doesn’t want Kesha to win this lawsuit or the game of life, but punishing her for speaking up about sexual assault at work is cruel. The media agreed, and publications as influential as Billboard have reported the damage done to Kesha. In a last-ditch effort to save itself, Sony Music is now arguing that it is helping Kesha’s career by giving her a break. Here’s what TMZ reported after obtaining court documents:
Kesha’s locked in a nasty battle to drop Sony and Dr. Luke, claiming the deal she’s got with them is torpedoing her comeback. According to legal docs — obtained by TMZ — Sony has scoffed at Kesha’s claims, pointing out Adele, JT and D’Angelo all took long breaks and came back stronger.
Is Sony insinuating that Kesha could be the next Adele? No, not at all. Sony is grasping at any opportunity to save its image in this case and to redirect blame for Kesha’s allegations (or, as Sony is treating it, whining). The problem lies in the details. I don’t even know who D’Angelo is, so that’s a sad example of a major comeback. Justin Timberlake had a larger audience before his time off than Kesha has now. Adele only took time off to have a baby, and it was after releasing 21, an album that probably broke more records than Kesha’s entire career.
Most importantly, these performers were not forced to take time off like Kesha was, and they did not accuse their primary producer of rape or their label of concealing rape.
Sony’s in a pickle: the company seems to want nothing to do with Kesha, but saying so directly would make the label look guilty of the accusations against it. Instead, they tried to change the perception to something along the lines of “we’re helping Kesha.” But comparing Adele’s baby break to Kesha’s alleged rape break? The fans are beginning to look smarter than the music industry, or at least smarter than Sony.