Actress Lena Dunham is the next public figure to back Kesha.
Last Friday, a New York State Supreme Court judge denied Kesha’s injunction to record music outside of Sony and its imprint label Kemosabe Records which alleged sexual abuser Dr. Luke oversees. It rocked the music world, and lead to an outpour of support from artists like Lady Gaga, Ariana Grande and Kelly Clarkson. The story quickly picked up steam when word got out on Monday Taylor Swift donated $250,000 towards Kesha’s legal bills (which Demi Lovato criticized initially), followed by offers from Zedd and Jack Antonoff to help the “Blow” singer create new tunes when the time is right.
The latest to come forth and defend Kesha from the injustice is Girls actress Lena Dunham, who wrote a mini-essay via Lenny Letter, her email newsletter, explaining her disgust towards the system and what this all really means.
So let me spell it out for them. Imagine someone really hurt you, physically and emotionally. Scared you and abused you, threatened your family. The judge says that you don’t have to see them again, BUT they still own your house. So they can decide when to turn the heat on and off, whether they’ll pay the telephone bill or fix the roof when it leaks. After everything you’ve been through, do you feel safe living in that house? Do you trust them to protect you?
That explanation is really for the judge, Shirley Kornreich, who questioned why — if they could be physically separated as Sony has promised — Kesha could not continue to work for Gottwald. After all, she said, it’s not appropriate to ‘decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated.’ Guess what else is heavily negotiated? The human contract that says we will not hurt one another physically and emotionally. In fact, it’s so obvious that we usually don’t add it to our corporate documents.
To be clear, Kesha’s case is about more than a pop star fighting for her freedom, or a $60 million investment in a shiny commercial career. It’s about more than whether Kesha can strap on her cool leotards and make another album, free from a man who she says terrifies her. It’s even about more than the systemic misogyny of the entertainment industry, or the way that women in music and film have long been controlled and coerced by abusive Svengalis and entities larger than themselves. (Think: the studio system of the ’40s and ’50s, when starlets were essentially chattel. Think: Ike and Tina Turner.) What’s happening to Kesha highlights the way that the American legal system continues to hurt women by failing to protect them from the men they identify as their abusers.
You can read the entire letter here.