The only thing I know of Kesha’s music is this amazing piece, but I’ve heard a considerable amount about her case, and it’s appalling. The judge said that her “instinct is to do the commercially reasonable thing,” because Sony would suffer “irreparable harm” if Kesha didn’t give them 6 more albums. Mind you, this is a label that has sided wholeheartedly with a man who has been accused of raping her. I can’t imagine she’d be comfortable dealing with any part of that entity, regardless of whether or not they were going to ease up on forcing her to work with the man.
The response from various circles has been loud, with female artists (just now!) lining up to voice their support for Kesha, (not prior to the ruling, but nothing motivates like outrage). The infighting and gatekeeping has already started, as well. Taylor Swift tossed Kesha a quarter million to do what she needs to do. Considering Kesha has only two albums to her credit, and her second, from over three years ago, being a commercial flop partially due to some bad timing, it’s safe to assume that her legal fees alone have her looking at some financial hardship. $250k was probably the best news that she’s had in a long time. But that wasn’t enough for some people, apparently, because Swift didn’t voice her full-throated support for Kesha.
Putting aside that in America, money is speech, so in effect, this was the largest statement possible, there’s a few other considerations here. First, Taylor Swift is also signed to Sony, so coming out in direct support of Kesha has, at the very least, financial concerns above and beyond $250k, and quite possibly has legal ramifications. Second, the statement is pretty clear: that money is a huge show of support, regardless of statement. It says “I am putting my money where my mouth is. I support you in a very real, very tangible sense. I have your back in a non-theoretical way.” Third, and probably most importantly, how Taylor Swift deals with what is a horrible subject is her call. Maybe she’s not comfortable with a statement because of something she’s experienced or someone close to her experienced. No one should be gatekeeping how women deal with sexual assault. No one gets to say that her response is any less appropriate. Her support is there, it shouldn’t be diminished because it wasn’t the exact kind of support that someone else gave.