Dr. Luke removed as CEO of Kemosabe Records
After 6 years at the head of the record label he created, Dr. Luke has apparently been removed from Sony Music’s Kemosabe Records.
Despite years of extremely public legal melee, former collaborator Kesha has remained creatively under Dr. Luke’s control–barred from making music or profiting from her work without his consent and involvement–despite the current allegations of rape and abuse she has leveled against him. Sony has remained tight lipped on the matter for years, but legal maneuvers suggest that the label has parted ways with their star producer who racked up platinum hits with stars like Miley Cyrus and Katy Perry, among others. According to court papers, Gottwald is no longer the CEO of Kemosabe Records with Sony asserting that he no longer has any authority to act on their behalf.
Some have noted that a page devoted to Gottwald’s achievements with the label has also been taken down from Sony Music’s website.
This bold move comes on the tail end of a bitter and public series of allegations against Dr. Luke from former collaborator Kesha who first accused the producer of drugging and raping her in a legal filing back in 2014. The duo’s contentious relationship has since been colored by revelations that the producer exercised “suffocating control” over the singer’s life for years and denied her profits from her biggest hits as well as a series of allegations that the producer had physically and verbally abused her. Notably, producers like Zedd and Taylor Swift collaborator Jack Antonoff entered the fray offering to help the singer make music by producing tracks for free.
Although any strikes against Gottwald are sure to satiate the #FreeKesha movement that’s been bubbling up online, the implications may be more damaging than helpful. Kesha herself noted that any changes in the producer’s Sony contracts might have the unfortunate consequence of putting her directly in his control, removing the label’s ability to mediate the conflict. Furthermore, with Gottwald’s defamation countersuit still pending, the removal may constitute financial damages suffered as a result of the singer’s sexual assault allegation.