#freekesha #sonysupportsrape

Hi everyone!

Kesha (center in white) cries as she learns she will not be released from her record label contract in Manhattan Supreme Court on Friday, February 19, 2016. A judge said she would not allow Kesha to leave her record label.

For those of you who use twitter and follow celebrity gossips, I am sure most of you would have seen the hashtags #freekesha and #sonysupportsrape.

So what is this whole thing about? Isn’t the hashtag #sonysupportsrape slanderous to Sony? Well, in a sense, you may feel that it doesn’t after reading the origins of them.

In a nutshell, in Oct 2014, Kesha had sued her producer, Dr. Luke, for “sexual assault and battery, sexual harassment, gender violence, unfair business practices, and infliction of emotional distress”, while Dr. Luke in retaliation, sued Kesha for defamation, breach of contract, and others. Recently, on 19 Feb 2016, New York Supreme Court Justice Sherley Kornreich rejected Kesha’s request for an injunction to be released from her contract (ie, she would have to continue working with her alleged rapist).

Upon the verdict of the hearing, prominent names in the music industry began tweeting their support for Kesha. Such names include Lady Gaga, Lily Allen, Lorde, Ariana Grande, even other stars who had produced music with Dr. Luke, such as Kelly Clarkson. Other tweeters had used the #freekesha and #sonysupportsrape in order to gain more exposure and spread the news about Kesha’s current predicament. A petition (http://www.thepetitionsite.com/646/007/918/freekesha-tell-sony-not-to-force-her-to-work-with-her-alleged-abuser/) has been started with the same hashtag, which may or may not work due to the legal circumstances in which this case resides. Public news outlets such as The Washington Post (online edition) have picked up the hashtag and publicised the case in their paper, spreading the news even further.

What is so significant about this is how social media has been utilised to create attention and spread the news at such a high speed. Just by searching for the hashtag #freekesha, one gains access to many different tweets, all about the same issue, and given the signal boost from the pop stars mentioned above, the main public could choose to boycott Sony and Dr. Luke, ultimately resulting in disastrous outcomes for the two of them.

Do you think Sony and Dr Luke would be pressured into releasing Kesha from her contract as a result of this social media campaign?



3 responses to “#freekesha #sonysupportsrape”

  1. Thank you Melvin! this also reminds me of how powerful social media can be to campaign for a cause. However the case is still ongoing and Dr Luke still have a chance to actually win the case, so sony may not even want to free kesha, because if it actually free kesha, the company may end up looking like it’s guilty and its reputation could get even worse.


  2. Chiang Li Ling Clara Avatar
    Chiang Li Ling Clara

    Thanks Melvin for sharing. In my opinion, the hashtag #freekesha definitely helps to raise awareness of the situation, as it has potential to go viral, like you mentioned. But whether it will influence Sony/Dr Luke to ‘free kesha’ is another question, the ultimate decision lies with the court. I think what is more pertinent here is that Sony is stuck in a sticky situation. Regardless of whether Dr Luke is indeed guilty of the rape and abuse claims, by being associated with Dr Luke, there is a lot of suspicion and negativity surrounding the company, as people might perceive Sony’s inaction as support for Dr Luke’s actions. On the other hand, if Sony were to ‘free Kesha’ from her contract with Dr Luke, people might perceive it as an admission of guilt. Either way, Sony would have to figure out a way to dissociate itself from all the negativity.


  3. Thanks for sharing… a lot to think about.. yes, online petition has strong power nowadays, it can surely empower the public, yet on the flipside, it could fire another witch hunting by making ppl so outrageous with groundless allegations. ppl easily get to be emotional yet not very knowlegeable n sensible then indulge their passion for being righteous hero/ine with a simple mouse click. We may have to be educated about the risky side of clicktivism, not just to curb the lynch mob but mainly to make sure to keep the power of online acitivism on the right track.


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