The fans — and prominent artists including Adele and Kelly Clarkson — appear to have encouraged Sony to drop Dr. Luke.
The Wrap reports that the record label is preparing to end its relationship with Dr. Luke following a groundswell of support for Kesha from both fans and artists, though the path to parting ways with him is still unclear.
Update (5:30 p.m. eastern): Dr. Luke’s lawyer is denying The Wrap’s report. They said in a statement to EW, “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.”
Support came to a head last month when a judge denied Kesha’s request to be freed from her contract with the music producer following allegations of rape and other abuse. Since then fans have organized protests, including one scheduled to take place this Friday at Sony Headquarters.
“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,” says one unnamed source in the report. “The fact that this hasn’t already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building.”
Said another, who appears to be Team Dr. Luke, “Somebody has been convicted via Twitter. No court has convicted this person, so there may not be any legal basis to terminate an agreement. It would have to be mutual.”
According to the report, details about how Sony intends to let Dr. Luke go are still scarce. “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,” says The Wrap.
If Sony moves forward with this it’ll be a win for Kesha, who has refused to work with Dr. Luke in light of the alleged abuse.
The news comes in the same week that Kelly Clarkson publicly denounced Dr. Luke, “He’s a talented dude but he’s just lied a lot,” she said in an Australian radio interview. “I’ve run into a couple really bad situations. Musically, it’s been really hard for me because he will just lie to people. It’s like ‘What?’ It makes the artist look bad. He’s difficult to work with, kind of demeaning, it’s kind of unfortunate. People are like well you’ve worked with Max [Martin] and Luke and I’m like Max and Luke are very different. Obviously the dude is a talented guy but character-wise, no. I only worked with him – even the last time I worked with him – because literally I got blackmailed by my label. They were like we will not put your album out if you don’t do this.”
Remember, Adele stood up for Kesha during a recent acceptance speech: