UPDATED: Sony To Drop Dr. Luke, Says Report, Luke’s Lawyer Claims Otherwise
It seems the court of public opinion has won out, at least according to a report by The Wrap stating Sony is planning to end its five-year contract with producer Dr. Luke (aka Lukasz Gottwald) ahead of its 2017 expiration date. “Knowledgeable individuals” have keyed the publication in on the fact that the label — including Sony Music CEO Doug Morris and Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton — are negotiating an out for Luke, following his very public legal tangle with singer Kesha.
“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,” one of The Wrap‘s sources said. “The fact that this hasn’t already been taken care of with Luke is confusing, especially for people in the building.”
UPDATE: TMZ reports that Dr. Luke’s attorney says there’s no truth to the report that Sony is dumping the producer. “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,” the site was told.
No specific details have been officially announced regarding the release of Dr. Luke — including what this means for singer Kesha’s contract with Kemosabe Records, a joint venture between the producer and Sony.
Kesha has been gridlocked in a legal battle with Luke, and on February 19, a court ruling came down from New York Supreme Court Justice Shirley Kornreich denying a preliminary injunction the singer had been asking for to begin recording music outside of Kemosabe. In 2014, Kesha had named Luke as her alleged physical and emotional abuser. She still owes Kemosabe four more albums, per her contract. Kesha’s last release was 2012 LP Warrior.
In the meantime, protest organizer Michael Eisele, who led the movement to gather signatures on a petition to get Sony to free Kesha from her contract, still plans to go ahead with a planned rally outside Sony’s New York City headquarters on Madison Avenue on Friday (March 11).
“I could not be happier and applaud Sony for finally answering the calls of over 223,000 people who signed the Care2 petition urging the company to show it values the well-being of an artist over profit,” says Eisele via a press release. “We pledged not to stop fighting until Kesha was free, and Sony cutting ties with Dr. Luke means our movement has left its mark. Our Friday rally at Sony headquarters will still take place, this time as a thank-you to the company for taking the opportunity to stand with a woman who has fought so hard for her creative freedom.”