I love the entertainment industry. I have spent my entire life planning on being involved in it, whether that was as the next Mimi in the RENT remake I’m still hoping will happen in my lifetime, striving for a career like Giuliana Rancic’s, or spending my weekends planning publicity releases for local artists in Iowa as I’m working with my first label. This arena is the only one I’ve wanted to work in. But today, I’m heartsick and a little disgusted by the industry I’ve spent my life in a love affair with.
Months ago I brought you information about Kesha’s legal battle with her label Sony and her producer Dr. Luke, this past week a judge ruled that Kesha cannot get out of her contract and must continue working with Dr. Luke to fulfill said contract, providing Sony 6 more albums. I’m so disappointed in this ruling, and the implications for victims of sexual, physical and emotional abuse. However, I believe that mass media has done it’s part to cover this story and the reactions of the entertainment community, in articles like this one, this one and this one.
This post however will be my reaction specifically to the behavior of fans surrounding Demi Lovato and Taylor Swift’s responses to the verdict and the situation at hand.
Demi Lovato has been incredibly vocal on issues like the ones surrounding the Kesha case. Taylor Swift on the other hand opted for a more silent approach, donating 250K to Kesha’s cause, which prompted an unprecedented wave of definitions of feminism, determined solely by how Taylor Swift supports Kesha and how Demi does not. And rather than ramble on for 500 more words let me get to my point. This issue, Kesha’s assault and the legal case surrounding it, is not Taylor Swift or Demi Lovato’s platform to decide what a “real” feminist is. This is not an arena for fans of one or the other to decide what the “right” support for Kesha looks like. This is not the time to pit woman against woman in the most cliched ways.
This is not about any one besides Kesha. This is about the fact that Chris Brown beat Rihanna, and the entire world knew about it and his career has not suffered. This is about the fact that Kesha, a young woman who was likely taken advantage of by a male in an authority position, having her livelihood stripped away and her reputation pummeled in the press as this trial wages on. This is about the ugly double standard that we’re all coming face to face with. This is NOT yours, mine or ours to make about our political or personal definitions of feminism, support or righteousness, and the sooner we figure that out, the sooner we as human beings capable of compassion and empathy can come together and find a way to support victims of assault; to hold perpetrators of crime accountable for their actions.
I stand with Kesha because this isn’t about who can write the biggest check. This is about power used to take advantage vulnerable women trying to make it in a historically male dominated industry.