April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and like all industries, the music industry is no stranger to issues of sexual assault.
Coinciding with the #MeToo movement, a number of artists have been fighting battles against those who have committed sexual assault. In 2014, Kesha sued her producer Dr. Luke on accounts of a number of charges of mistreatment, including sexual assault and emotional and physical abuse. After a series of appeals, Kesha has still not been able to exit her contract with her abuser despite overwhelming grassroots support from her fans. Though her 2017 album “Rainbow” was released under a different branch of her original record company, Dr. Luke will continue to profit from her album because she is technically still legally tied to him. #FreeKesha became a trend on social media as images of Kesha weeping in the courtroom and her video deposition became public. Young women want to support her in droves. Taylor Swift has even offered to donate up to $250,000 to help Kesha’s cause according to Joe Coscarelli of the New York Times (read more here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/08/09/arts/music/kesha-rainbow-dr-luke-lawsuits.html).
Indeed, Taylor Swift faced her own lawsuit against a man who allegedly groped her at a meet-and-greet. She famously sued him for just $1, noting that the principle is more relevant than the money to her. Unlike Kesha, however, Swift won over the jury with her biting testimony against him. This exposes an interesting question: did Kesha’s ‘party girl’ image affect her validity as a victim compared to Taylor Swift’s clean-cut good girl image? Culturally, we do tend to victim-blame quite a bit especially based on party behaviors of women.
More recently, Katy Perry (deservingly) received quite a bit of negative attention for kissing an American Idol contestant without his consent. Although we tend to think of women exclusively being victims of sexual assaults perpetrated by men, there is no singular demographic of victims and it is imperative to remember that to better act as allies for individuals struggling with the aftermath of such incidents.
So, this April, Limelight Records invites you to support victims of sexual assault and to be aware that this is an epidemic in our culture and indeed in our industry.
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