Why #FreeKesha Is Trending After Kim Petras' 'Slut Pop' Dropped - Rolling Stone
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The Dirtiest Thing About Kim Petras’ ‘Slut Pop’? It’s Produced By Dr. Luke

Here’s why #FreeKesha started to trend after Petras dropped her EP

The Dirtiest Thing About Kim Petras' 'Slut Pop'? It’s Produced By Dr. Luke.The Dirtiest Thing About Kim Petras' 'Slut Pop'? It’s Produced By Dr. Luke.

Rob Grabowski/Invision/AP, Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

While Kim Petras was asking fans to “get your tits out” and “whip your dicks out” on her NSFW EP Slut Pop, stan Twitter was pulling out something else: the receipts about her close collaborator Dr. Luke. Shortly after Slut Pop dropped Friday, fans on stan Twitter questioned why the producer, previously accused of sexual abuse by Kesha, is credited with co-writing the record and producing it in its entirety.

There’s “something v off with kim petras’ new EP being titled ‘slut pop’… and it being entirely produced by dr luke,” tweeted journalist Jordan Page about the project. “A man surrounded with notorious accusations of sexual harassment and assault?”

Page’s tweet — and that of many others that are reviving the hashtag #FreeKesha — pointed to the “Tik Tok” singer’s 2014 lawsuit where Kesha claimed Luke had “sexually, physically, verbally, and emotionally abused [her] to the point where [she] nearly lost her life,” along with numerous other accusations, including gender-based discrimination. (Dr. Luke denied the claims and filed a counter lawsuit against the singer, accusing her of defamation. Kesha dropped her suit in 2016, while Luke’s defamation lawsuit is still ongoing.)

Petras’ new album — crowded with shockingly explicit lyrics and hyper pop beats, all produced and co-written by Luke — served as a reminder of the ongoing court matrix surrounding Kesha and the disgraced producer.

“Kesha’s still signed to Dr Luke,” tweeted Ben Abraham, the songwriter behind Kesha’s “Praying” — a track many suspect is about Luke. “It’s still in litigation. He still controls her releases. It’s been 8 years. Women’s voices matter.” On Instagram, Abraham compared listening to Dr. Luke’s music to “watching Woody Allen movies.”

#FreeKesha organizer Michael Eisele — who also works as a publicist for Big Hassle Media  — said seeing Slut Pop climb the charts reinvigorated the need to speak out about Kesha and her situation with Luke. “There are millions of people invested in Kesha, her music, and her well-being,” he wrote in a statement to Rolling Stone. “So of course her supporters are going to be outraged when the product of a man she has allegations of sexual assault against is No. 1 on iTunes with a record called Slut Pop.”

On his @KeshaToday account, Eisele tweeted, “People love to forget. We think about it every day. #FreeKesha.”

Others on Twitter were upset that Petras namedrops Lady Gaga — who has been open about being a survivor of sexual abuse and defended Kesha in a deposition for Luke’s defamation lawsuit  — in the fellatio fete “Throat Goat.” “These lips go ‘la-la-la’/This throat, Lady Gaga,” Petras sings. (The song’s lyrics were co-written by Luke.)

In 2019, Gaga told lawyers, “That girl [Kesha] has experienced serious trauma and she is in the middle of it right now. And you are all a party to it.”

“How do you name drop Gaga, a victim of SA, in a song produced by the same man she spoke out against in court?” wrote one fan. “Lady Gaga said that testifying in support of Kesha in her legal battle with Dr. Luke caused her to have a breakdown,” added Chris Steadman, host of the Unread podcast, “Now, Gaga is name-dropped in a song co-written and produced by Luke… Very gross.”

Petras — whose rep did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment — was asked about Dr. Luke’s involvement in her music in an interview with BuzzFeed News last year. “I just feel like a lot of it is like getting transferred to me. A lot of people like to blame it on the women,” Petras told the outlet, later adding, “I think I’m sometimes being held to a different standard than other artists.”

Other musicians who have worked with Luke — including the likes of Saweetie and Doja Cat — have also shied away from giving direct answers about his involvement in their work. When Rolling Stone asked Doja Cat about working with the producer during a recent cover story interview, she claimed “there’s shit that he’s credited for, where I’m like, ‘Hmm, I don’t know, I don’t know if you did anything on that.'” She later retracted the comment in a statement, writing “The credits on my music are accurate, and I don’t want to imply anything else.”

With the #FreeBritney movement’s recent success in raising awareness about Britney Spears’ conservatorship, fans are left to wonder if it’s time for the same visibility with Kesha’s stand against Luke. “#FreeBritney was successful after so many years, now can we do #FreeKesha in a fraction of that time?” wrote one fan. “She deserves her happy ending.”

A rep for Kesha and an attorney and manager for Dr. Luke did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.

In This Article: Dr. Luke, Kesha, Kim Petras

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