Report: Sony To Drop Dr. Luke Over Pressure To #FreeKesha [UPDATED]

Sources speaking exclusively to The Wrap report that Sony Music Group has succumbed to pressure from supporters of pop star Kesha and will drop Dr. Luke and Kemosabe Records before the end of his contract. In 2014, Kesha accused her longtime producer, Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald, of sexually and psychologically abusing her, and she’s been trying to break their contract ever since. Last month, a New York City judge denied Kesha’s request for an injunction allowing her to record outside of her existing contract requiring her to record six more albums for Kemosabe Records, a Sony imprint.

Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald signed a reported five-year deal with the label in 2011, an agreement that brought Kemosabe and its stable of artists, including Kesha, under the Sony umbrella. More attractive to Sony, however, was landing exclusivity on Gottwald as a producer; while Kemosabe has allegedly been “bleeding money,” especially with Kesha, its top artist, refusing to record, Dr. Luke has still given Sony such hits as Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball” and royalties from his collaborations with Katy Perry.

However, support for Kesha has spread far and wide, from fans protesting outside of Sony’s New York City offices, to huge pop stars like Lady Gaga, Kelly Clarkson, Taylor Swift and Adele showing their support. According to a source speaking to The Wrap:

“There is no contest. Kesha has no case in regards to her contract but they can’t afford the Adeles of the world out in the streets calling the label unsupportive. The fact that this hasn’t already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building.”

Gottwald has denied the allegations against him, saying that Kesha is making everything up in order to get out of her contract and score a better, bigger record deal. Last month, it was reported that Sony offered Kesha a “compromise,” saying she was free to record with other producers — but Gottwald and Kemosabe would still reap the rewards. Kesha has been insistent that she is “willing to work with Sony if they do the right thing and break all ties that bind me to my abuser,” including taking the necessary steps to ensure that he doesn’t profit off her work going forward. Sony has claimed that they were legally unable to sever the contractual ties between Kesha and Gottwald/Kemosabe.

Now the question is whether Sony breaking ties with Gottwald and Kemosabe will free Kesha as well. According to The Wrap, “Any unilateral dissolution of the contract would be a direct breach, so a negotiated exit would be most likely to save face on both sides.” Hopefully those negotiations prioritize Kesha’s future as well – it would be a travesty if, after quietly standing by Dr. Luke for this long, Sony jumped ship and left Kesha behind.

[The Wrap]

UPDATE: Dr. Luke’s attorney issued a statement to EW denying the report: “This is not true. Luke has an excellent relationship with Sony. His representatives are in regular contact with executives at the highest levels at Sony and this has never come up.”

LOL, maybe Sony just hasn’t told him yet?