A judge ruled on Friday, February 19, that Kesha could not break her contract with Dr. Luke (real name, Lukasz Gottwald), a record producer that she claims drugged and raped her a decade ago. Dr. Luke has repeatedly denied these allegations and has countersued Kesha for defamation. Since then, o artists like Demi Lovato, Lady Gaga, Halsey, and Lorde have been standing behind Kesha through Twitter and social media. Over the weekend, Taylor Swift joined in and donated $250,000 to Kesha "to help with any of her financial needs during this trying time," according to Swift's spokesperson, Tree Paine, in a statement to USA Today. As with everything T. Swift does, she's received a lot of attention for her generosity, but putting that attention on Swift is missing the point.
Fans on Twitter have been extolling Swift for the move while others have been criticizing her for it. But this isn't about Swift; it's about Kesha. Certainly, there are very few things that are more personal than allegations of sexual assault and the effect of those allegations on a woman's career, so the focus should continue to be on Kesha, the woman who is dealing with the actual trial. Sure, it's great to praise Swift for helping, but we can't forget the reasons why this donation happened in the first place.
But one quick look at Twitter shows that, when Swift is invoked, she always remains the main topic of conversation:
Some Still Mention Kesha
The amount of fans keeping the focus where it should be, however, is not the majority.
Because Quite A Few Don't Mention Her
Which is a travesty.
Some Were Angry About Who The Money Was Given To
Because, for some reason, Taylor Swift should be giving money to Kanye?
Some People Got Mad At Demi Lovato
Lovato tweeted that she would only be impressed if someone were to "take something to Capitol Hill or actually speak out about something." Some fans took it to be a pointed jab at Swift, and reacted accordingly.
But Remember, This Isn't About Taylor Swift Or Demi Lovato
It's about Kesha, guys. Kesha. At the end of the day, Swift's generosity in this situation is lovely, but does not detract from the fact that it is Kesha who is in need of support from fans at this time. Swift was simply adding her own show of support to a situation that needs to remain focused on Kesha.
The pop star and Dr. Luke’s reps did not immediately respond to Bustle’s request for comment, but, in 2014 when the lawsuit was initially filed, Kesha's lawyer Mark Geragos told Billboard:
This lawsuit is a wholehearted effort by Kesha to regain control of her music career and her personal freedom after suffering for ten years as a victim of mental manipulation, emotional abuse and sexual assault at the hands of Dr. Luke. The facts presented in our lawsuit paint a picture of a man who is controlling and willing to commit horrible acts of abuse in an attempt to intimidate an impressionable, talented, young female artist into submission for his personal gain. Kesha is focused on moving her life and her career beyond this terrible time.
Update: Dr. Luke's attorney Christine Lepera released a statement to The Rolling Stone:
The New York County Supreme Court on Friday found that Kesha is already "free" to record and release music without working with Dr. Luke as a producer if she doesn’t want to. Any claim that she isn’t "free" is a myth. The sound decision Friday by the Court in denying Kesha's motion for an injunction made it clear Kesha's allegations of purported abuse were unconvincing and that she had no basis to void record contracts and copyrights… The goal of Kesha's counsel throughout has been to obtain a more lucrative contract through a shameless campaign of outrageous claims they will never stand behind in a court of law.
As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money. Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims… It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.