Poor unfortunate soul! Lady Gaga took to Twitter on Wednesday, May 18, to voice her continued support for fellow pop star Kesha and to compare the “TiK ToK” singer’s producer and alleged abuser, Dr. Luke, to Ursula from The Little Mermaid.
“Isn’t it strange that it’s legal to own a woman this way?” Gaga, 30, wrote, sharing an article about Dr. Luke’s recent decision to bar Kesha, 29, from performing at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday, May 22.
The Grammy-winning superstar then compared Dr. Luke (real name: Lukasz Gottwald) to the half-woman, half-octopus villain from Disney’s 1989 animated hit. “Listen Ursula, we want her voice back #freeKesha,” Gaga added.
— xoxo, Gaga (@ladygaga) May 19, 2016
As Us Weekly previously reported, Dick Clark Productions, which oversees the Billboard Music Awards, released a statement on Tuesday, May 17, announcing that Kesha’s scheduled performance had been canceled by Gottwald, 42, and Kemosabe Records, the label which she’s signed to. The former chart-topper has been in a contentious legal battle with Dr. Luke over allegations that he sexually abused her.
“Kesha accepted an invitation to perform on the show and she received written approval from Dr. Luke’s record label, Kemosabe Records,” Dick Clark Productions said in the statement. “Kemosabe subsequently rescinded its approval following a media report on Wednesday May 11 regarding Kesha’s appearance on the Billboard Music Awards. Unfortunately, Kesha and Kemosabe have since been unable to come to an agreement for Kesha to perform on the show.”
According to TMZ, Dr. Luke blocked Kesha’s performance after hearing that it was reportedly going to make a “statement” about her legal war with her ex-collaborator and Sony.
However, Kesha denied that report in a May 17 Instagram post. “I was very excited to perform a tribute to Bob Dylan by singing a cover of ‘It ain’t me, babe’ at the Billboard awards this year. I’m very sad and sorry to say I won’t be allowed to do this,” she wrote. “I just wanted to make very clear that this performance was about me honoring one of my favorite songwriters of all time and has never had anything at all to do with Dr. Luke. I was never going to use a picture of him, speak of him or allude to my legal situation in any way. I simply wanted to sing a song I love to honor an artist I have always looked up to. thank u all for the continued support.”
As reported in February, a Manhattan judge denied Kesha’s motion to be released from her contractual working obligations with Dr. Luke.
New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich made the ruling after listening to arguments from both Kesha and Dr. Luke, The Hollywood Reporter reported.
“You’re asking the court to decimate a contract that was heavily negotiated and typical for the industry,” the judge told Kesha’s attorney, Mark Geragos, adding that her instinct was “to do the commercially reasonable thing.”
Dr. Luke has strongly rebutted Kesha’s claims of abuse. “I didn’t rape Kesha and I have never had sex with her,” he tweeted on February 22. “Kesha and I were friends for many years and she was like my little sister.”
His lawyers reiterated the denial in a statement to Us that same day. “As Dr. Luke has said repeatedly, the allegations against him are outright lies that have been advanced to extort a contract renegotiation and money,” the statement read. “Kesha and her counsel have cavalierly subjected Dr. Luke and his family to trial by Twitter, using a vicious smear campaign to ruin his reputation for financial gain while failing to support their claims. Kesha to date has never verified the allegations in this case — even when given the opportunity in her affidavit. Nor has she ever offered a credible explanation as to why she would have signed a second recording agreement, recorded two albums and an EP and signed a publishing deal with Dr. Luke after allegedly being sexually abused. It will further be shown that the incidents alleged never happened.”
Back in February, parent company Sony Music Entertainment explained that it is unable to break Kesha’s contract with Dr. Luke.
“Sony has made it possible for Kesha to record without any connection, involvement or interaction with Luke whatsoever, but Sony is not in a position to terminate the contractual relationship between Luke and Kesha,” Scott A. Edelman, an attorney representing the music conglomerate, told The New York Times. “Sony is doing everything it can to support the artist in these circumstances, but is legally unable to terminate the contract to which it is not a party.”
Kesha filed paperwork on March 21 to appeal the court ruling. A new court date has yet to be scheduled.